1. 24/7 2. Mean Streets 3. Scream Killers 4. Number For A Number
Well, just like the other U.D.O reviews I have done in my short time as YOUR metal journalist, I will start by simply saying you know exactly what you are getting with Mr. Udo. His brand of German hard rock Accept-ance is almost mandatory every year, with his last few records really picking it up a notch in terms of quality and endurance. With records like "Holy" and "Thunderball", Udo has started to rise again from those metallic ashes he was destined for circa "Faceless World". Now the little giant has finished the recording of a new record entitled "Mission No. X", set for release in the Fall of '05. To get us geared up and ready for action, a four track EP/Single has been released called "24/7".
Right off the bat that familiar groove strikes down, enveloping everything that this band is known for in one verse. Lead track "24/7" is a ballbreaker number, keeping that Teutonic rock as the mainline while venturing into that "Balls To The Wall" mindset with the chorus chants. The track is somewhat vulgar for Udo, with a lot of profanity thrown in the mix which is....well a welcome change I guess. It is good to see the old timer aggressive and fired up. The profanity seems to help the band deliver the metal 'tude in grand style. Second cut "Mean Streets" is a slower paced slice, really mixing in some modern overtones. Udo uses his raspy croon to rattle the cages early on before exploding into the Y&T styled chorus part. The second half of the EP shows us "Scream Killers" and "Number For A Number", both of which are faster, more streamlined cuts that still retain that big hook and bombastic groove.
This is the first material to feature new, relatively unknown drummer Francesco Jovino, who steps in to replace former skinsman Lorenzo Milani. Jovino provides plenty of hard hitting and seems to understand the exact beats that Udo requires on every single record. At times I really think his drummers could just phone in their beats from home but that big bop sound is what Udo's style is, and damnit it has worked this long so why stop now. Guitarist Stefan Kaufmann does the production job here, keeping everything polished and crystal clean.
Bottom Line - Udo as always. Entertaining, hard rocking, and absolutely mandatory!
About this Writer: Eric Compton // Eric Compton lives in the most haunted city in the world, St. Augustine, Florida with his family and two yorkies. He has contributed to MaximumMetal.com since it's conception in 2003. His reviews, interviews and social commentary has been featured on websites like Brave Words, Blabbermouth, Metal Temple, Metal Rules, Ultimate Metal, Metal Maniacs and Wikipedia. You can also find him on his paperbackwarrior.com blog discussing all things action and adventure.
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