RUNNING WILD – Rogues En Vogue

RUNNING WILD - Rogues En Vogue


Gun Records / BMG
Release date: February 21, 2005

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Rock ’n’ Rolf and his merry crew of pirates have been around for almost a quarter of a century, and have just been honored with a tribute album where the young hopefuls pay respect to these wild rogues by covering some of their favorite Running Wild tunes. To celebrate their long career, the band also recently released and toured a best of package, 20 Years in History. If that isn’t enough for all you die-hard Running Wild fans, Rogues En Vogue – the new ten-song album, has just hit the stores.

It’s good to see that not all the veterans are taking the much-covered and long-winding road of polishing their new material to death, or taking the easy way of re-releasing all their old material with half-arsed new bonus material, which at it’s best, is mostly watered down versions of their old glory day songs. Oops, Running Wild have taken part in the re-release game too, but still it’s a pleasant surprise to know that they are still enjoying what they do and can still come up with songs strong enough to hold the scales in the “killers” corner most of the time.

This brand new studio album was recorded at the bandleader’s Rolf Kasparek’s own studio, which allowed the band the luxury of taking their time with each song… and it shows. Each song is jam-packed with little details like the occasional acoustical intros (“Skull & Bones”), the hi-fi details of occasional guitar tracks only coming out of the other speaker (“Skeleton Dance”), the echo’s of the background vocals (“Draw the Line”), etc. Sure, this is still Running Wild, who at their best can be preferred as a workingman’s Power Metal band, but they have done their best to sugarcoat each song so that none of them can be labelled as fillers.

The lyrics are not the strong point for Running Wild, but this actually works in their favor most of the time since you can’t help but sing along to those catchy lines no matter how foolish they are (winged & feathered/ flying on high/ winged & feathered/ high up in the sky).

Most of these high-driven, bombastic, battle hymns sound really determined, like the band is making their way to their destination by either relentlessly going up the hill, or like in “Dead Man’s Road,” free-wheeling down the avenue, but still making their way to their desired point. “Driven” is another word for the feel of their music… and driven is certainly what Running Wild sounds like. There is this on-marching determination that can be found within each song.

On “Skeleton Dance,” the whip can almost be heard slashing in the background. Just picture yourself on a pirate ship and hearing those songs sung while rowing the boat in a yeoman-like fashion, or on the shore enjoying inspired dance with the free-spirited women, and the tall pints of beer, and the camaraderie of your fellow pirates… and you’re smack dab in the middle of the world of Running Wild.

The official release ends in the epic tale of World War simply titled “War.” This epic is divided into different parts, with a kind of joyous marching band section in the middle. The song has partly the same feel as Slade’s “Run, Run Away.” On the limited edition, you get two extra songs: “Cannonball Tongue” and “Libertalia.”

If you’ve never heard of Running Wild and want to check out what the fuss is all about, then this isn’t a bad place to start, because any band with a twenty-odd year career that can still sound this determined is worth a listen. If you already are a fan of Running Wild, then listening to this CD will most likely rekindle your love for the band. If only they would reveal how the heck they managed to pull this one from out of their sleeves this late in the game…


  • Metal-Katie

    Katie was a reviewer and interviewer here at Metal Express Radio. She claims to have been born a Metalhead. At least she's been one as far as she can remember. She loves Metal music and she's ever so happy to see generation after another founding its charm. She's always interested in hearing new Metal bands and reading about them and their antics. She lives and breathes Metal, or at least her alter ego does.

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