Company: Universal Release: 2010 Genre: Power, Hard Rock Rating: 4 Reviewer: Jonah Haze
The Scorps at their signature finest
Retirement album alright! Shoulda kept the double dutch door of Humanity open affording the option to transition from the Humanity Hour 1 cd. I was anxious for an Hour 2 but it turned out to be hope floats, not the Sandy Bullock movie, but it took the way of a sinker. Much like Steve Vai's new label re-releasing an LA Guns disc from 99 featuring a singer who could Stump the Trunk: Jizzy Pearl who resided in the late 80's and early nineties with his band Love/Hate so they can tour on an album made 10 years ago! How I know this shit I don't know! Anyway Hour 1 was widely misunderstood by most of the bands loyal fans and leaves this retirement album kind of anti-climactic. Hour 1 was that good kids, it could have opened up a new 35 year career for America's number one German import.
As it turns out, loyal and die hard are two different types of fans. Something that sounded so free and fresh left little room for the cookie cutter writing the loyalists felt threatened by. The disc still found a way not to erase their signatures but remains a gem to at least the die hards. Neither here nor there nor fuckin anywhere let me assure you that if the Scorpions have indeed decided to lay down their tails and release the venom, this would be the record I would have agreed to produce had I been consulted! Savage Amusement II. Hail, hail, last sting of the tail! Instantly recognizable as feel good classic Headbangers Balls on a Saturday night! Cranking up the old Kenwood and blasting through our Japanese speakers. Fresh Nostalgia. If you could put your arms around a memory this would be a humbling embrace.
Many highlights to mention...pretty much every fucking song rocks balls and I have nothing bad to say about the songs or the arrangements or the production! It's the Scorps at their signature finest as they bid us a sweet adieu. Just go buy it and take my word! If this is my job then you kids in the audience gotta do yours! Support your Bands! I wouldn't lie, this is for the loyalists and the die hards and for rock/metal fans in general.
There is a bit of a mystery track at the end, I don't mean like an extra secret song, but the last song "The Best Is Yet To Come". I am rather confused, embarrassed and amused all at once. The song almost gives themselves away that they aren't done. Which is fair to newcomers but a little unfair to the 30 or so year veteran fans who are gonna start feeling taken advantage. It gives you that last Soprano episode feeling of its never felt so good getting robbed. Great song, but a real psych out. Ummm...I don't mean to be strict on the path, but I don't have time to play games either. But that's what makes this such interesting fodder.
It's been realistically 20 years since the band has released anything of relevance or entertainment for that matter. They survived on greatest hits, some kinda kraut dog of a disc "Eye to Eye" (even Bruce Willis didn't like this), and a worn-out-its-welcome symphony release before it was released. So, Sting of the Tail represents not a mixed bag of tangents or experiments but a HUGE rock and roll record guaranteed to knock it outta the park retirement or not. This is why the fans have been dropping off for the last 20 years. They thought they could just tour on anything and call it in during the 90's. Maybe it worked overseas but unless you were OZ, AC\DC, VH or BJ you weren't filling arenas in the US. As the history of wars taught in books filled with expressions on both sides, if the Scorps let me name this album it would've been called: "We Have Ways To Make You Rock"!
I do imagine that the tour will be extended for the overseas audiences and festivals and the set list from Sting/Blackout will change extending more shows. Then the obvious record company cash in on a greatest hits with two unreleased trax, extending the tour back to America to promote the album with intimate acoustic shows. A small tour with the symphony covering Lovedrive in its entirety which will result in a full blown reunion with Michael and traveling the world like Bret Michael's crabs. As that comes to an end Michael will announce his retirement and continue on with the Scorps for a while and include his soso solo stuff. Then the official Sting in the Tail retirement tour will start probably around 2013/2014. So if you are worried you wont get to see them, heed my spooky prediction!
I have made a decision as of writing this review to be less lenient on the big boys and hold them more accountable based on the past, present and potential future. Let me reiterate, there is nothing wrong with this Gigantic Arena Rock and Roll disc. This is summer, and you cant have a proper summer without a new pumpin Scorps release! And as always I urge, beg and plead to our fans, readers, haters, and everyone else metal: buy these albums! Even if another review or reviewer helps you gain a new or different perspective support the band and support the genre! Keep it alive!
I give the album a 4 outta 5. And I will explain why. Again it was the prior release of Humanity: Hour 1 and its differential invite to reinvent themselves successfully for another several cds. There was no promotion of its life and no respect in its death and forever hides in the shadows of the best songs Accept never wrote. This should have been taken into consideration because the leap in sound and attitude are miles apart.
God Speed the Scorpions to Victory!
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