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Friday, July 17, 2009

Accept: I'm A Rebel

I'M A REBEL (1980)

1) I'm A Rebel; 2) Save Us; 3) No Time To Lose; 4) Thunder And Lightning; 5) China Lady; 6) I Wanna Be No Hero; 7) The King; 8) Do It.

Udo Dirkschneider doesn't like this album very much, because of "unsuccessful experiments", as he himself said. Well, I can understand, except that it's not so much experimentation as an odd will to conform to standards that mars the record. They set an excellent standard with the title track, a number formerly written by Australian guitarist Alex Young for his brothers in AC/DC (they say AC/DC even recorded it back in the day) — that's why it's got a bit of a drunken party sound to it, which is unusual for Accept who have always sounded stone cold sober, but still, it's an AC/DC-worthy song, and any song like that can be handled well by Accept.

Unfortunately, right after that the album starts shaking. There is only one other number that is truly solid from head to toe: 'China Lady', built upon an unforgettable riff and an equally unfor­gettable banshee wailing part from Udo. A couple more rockers are so-so, and then there's the cringeworthy stuff: power ballads that match simplistic melodies against pathos, the kind of stuff that, at the same time, was eating away the Scorpions' intestines ('No Time To Lose' may be my least favourite Accept song of that entire period), and then we're watching the unwatchable as Accept do disco ('I Wanna Be No Hero'), something that they are so poorly adjusted for they can't even help imitating Kiss (if the 'I can give you nothing but love babe' line does not, for you, im­me­diately bring to mind 'I was born for loving you baby', you must be the unassociative type).

Disco motives even show up in the album's third best song, 'Save Us', which starts out strong and spiteful but then turns to silliness in the middle-eight, including "choral" singing that should be banned from Accept records once and for all; if the only member in your band who can sing well is Udo, what's your problem? Bass guy Peter Baltes knows how to stay on key, for sure, but what's the use of staying on key if you're staying on key on songs like 'No Time To Lose'?

The good news about all this is that 'I'm A Rebel' (the song) did become a hit for the band, and this must have helped them to get by and gather their forces for a full-fledged return to form. But nevertheless, my heart is also a rebel, and it rebels all the way against disco-metal and rotten power balladry, and, ripping the two side-openers off the album, proceeds to reward it with a hearty thumbs down, while the brain is, of course, still sleeping on this one.

PS. As irrelevant as it is to the review, I can't help but publish the idea for the greatest of all non-existent Weird Al Yankovic parodies: the heavy metal anthem 'I'm A Rabbi' ('I'm a rabbi, I'm a rabbi, don't you just know it?'), dangerously bordering on the sacrilegious but all the more fun for all the titillation. Where can I patent this?

Check "I'm A Rebel" (CD) on Amazon

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