Friday, August 20, 2010

Scorpions - Sting In The Tail

It would have been immensely cool if the Scorpions ended their career with an eye on their entire catalog-something that addresses the contribution of guitarist Uli Jon Roth, their origins with younger brother Michael Schenker, and yes, the band’s mega-platiunum acention in the 1980’s.

But when the German band announced that the tour supporting Sting In The Tail would be there last, you got the feeling that the band wasn’t going to rest too much on their nostalgia, opting instead to try and recapture the attention (and the financial gain) of their eighties heyday.

Whether or not that is entirely possible is another debate, but Sting In The Tail marks an admirable return to those glory days while also offering a bit of current shine to demonstrate that these 40 year veterans are not completely blind to the landscape around them.

Vocalist Klaus Meine uses some nasty vocal effects on the title track and the album opener “Raised On Rock” is a worthy addition to the band’s impressive collection of hook-laden songs with iconic power chords. It’s not far from the chords of “Rock You Like A Hurricane,” but then again, it sounds positively at home coming from the Scorpions.

And if you’re getting confused by all of the songs with the word “Rock” in the title, hold on. Sting In The Tail features three songs that rock so much that the band had to indentify it with the word in the title.

It’s one of those charming little things that makes it hard to attack a band like Scorpions. Clearly, their hearts are in the right place even when their subtlety isn’t.

Naturally, every album in the band’s career features some kind of power ballad, and because the band is so adept at composing them, there is very little complaining from the band’s most testosteroned supporter.

For this album, it’s “Lorelei” (not the Styx song, thank god) and the closer “The Best Is Yet To Come.” With all irony missing from that last cut, the sing-along chorus makes it hard to face reality: that its shelf life is limited to one more tour.

But all in all, Sting Of The Tail ain’t a bad way to use up the butane in your disposable lighter.

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