• 6.5/10
    THE TRACEELORDS - The Ali Of Rock - 6.5/10


Release Date: May 19, 2006

User Review
0/10 (0 votes)

German outfit The Traceelords are back in the ring. Already the cover shows you what’s up! This is their third album, and the two releases before Sex, Money, Rock ’n’ Roll and Refuse To Kiss Ass displayed a band knee-deep in Hard Rock and Punk. That is also the starting point of The Ali Of Rock, only this time they expand their horizon in every direction, stretching the boundaries of what is allowed on a dirty Punk Rock album.

The nucleus of The Traceelords is Andy Brings, a former member of Germany’s Thrash heroes Sodom from ’92 through ’94, who is quite known in the German scene. And, it is no surprise that he did not change his style much. Hard Rock, Punk, a bit of Glam and a lot of fun dominate, and as far as variety goes, this album is the highlight of his portfolio to date. The opener “My Evil Girlfriend“ is fun Punk. That remains the foundation most songs are rooted into throughout the whole album. The easiest comparison to describe their style is to German bands JBO or Die Ärzte. Especially the latter seems to be present in every other song, and Andy Brings accentuates his vocals very similar to Bela B., singer of Die Ärzte. For a more international comparison, the spirits of Sweet and The Ramones where definitely present in the recording of The Ali Of Rock.

That would be either a great album for fans of the above bands or a really boring one for the rest, had they not altered the recipe for their musical output a couple of times. While they satisfy the Melodic Punk fan further with “Instead,” “She’s Back (And She’s Mine),” and “Everything Is Just Perfect,” and also dip into Hard Rock (“Silver Lining,” “Tear Out My Own Heart,” “Watch Me Run”), the rest of the 14 tracks are more difficult to characterize. Already by the third track, “Room For Improvement,” they catch you off guard with an acoustic guitar and a nice, happy melody. Of course, the lyrics are still funny.

The rest of the album is what you either love or hate. Open-minded people, or everybody after their fourth beer, may enjoy the Disco style hammond organ fun of “Sunflower,” which wears off after a few times, or the accordion-driven Folk / fun Punk song “Mr. Marple,” except for the horrible children’s choir at the end, which is probably more than most Metalheads can endure. What is quite compatible to Metal fan is “Some People Are More Comfortable In Hell,” which is a Speed Metal song -– well, with a good helping of Punk, of course.

Unfortunately, there are three tracks that taint the overall impression. Cleverly placed far at the end of the album is a ballad called “Lost” and an Eighties’ style Rock song by the name of “Too Demanding,” which are plain tedious. And, there is the last, uh, track, which is a tribal sound collage with a rap attitude and … hmmm … just push stop after song 13, okay?

In conclusion, this is the most versatile Traceelords album so far — there are even two tracks sung by bass player Slick Prolidol (who does this job well) — and they’ve cultivated their style nicely. It is just not very original to start with, so you cannot expect them to change music as everyone knows it. If you are into this kind of music, and you already have Die Ärzte’s Planet Punk, Geraeusch, and their infamous live album Rock ’n’ Roll Realschule, then this is a good album to buy.

One other thing has to be said about The Ali Of Rock. It contains one of the funniest lines recorded this year: I’m gonna die with my middle finger up in the air!. Well, there’s nothing to add to that, really …


  • Frank Jaeger

    Frank was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Bavaria, Germany. He has worked in the games industry for more than 20 years, now on the manufacturing side, before on the publishing end. Before this, he edited and handled the layout for a city mag in northern Germany ... maybe that is why he love being part of anything published. Frank got hooked on Metal at the age of 14 when a friend introduced him to AC/DC. They were listening to The Beatles, Madness, and The Police, and he decided they should move on. Well, they did, Back in Black became Frank's first Metal album, and since Germany is reasonably close to England, they had some small New Waves Of British Heavy Metal washing up on their shores: Tygers Of Pan Tang, Samson, Gillan, Iron Maiden, Saxon, Sweet Savage, Diamond Head, etc. If he had to pick his favorite styles, Prog and Power Metal would be at the top of the list.

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