Having released three full length albums to date, ‘Hearts & Bones’ in 2003, ‘Little Monsters’ in 2007 and ‘All In’ back in 2011, German boogie masters Kickhunter now give you all some heavy duty ‘Southern Kicks’.
For the uninitiated, and those unable to spot the obvious implied by the album title Kickhunter come across like a bit like a German Junkyard. A hard rock band with a rich history that can’t help but wear their love for bands like Lynyrd Skynyrd and Blackfoot on their sleeves. And this ‘Southern Kicks’ album is a roundup of just what those influences have had Kickhunter sounding like over the last eleven years.
Yes, this is a best of! A sixteen track run-through of some of the finer moments from the Kickhunter camp. Starting with ‘Wild Emotions’ we’re treated to an early Hammond appearance and it’s a sound that finds itself stitched through many of the tracks on ‘Southern Kicks’. ‘Walls’ follows quick but hangs around for a near seven minute epic jaunt that again is loaded with Hammond magic. But there’s also superb female backing vocals that sound like a choir of rebel angels just stormed the stereo and guitars that are so free wheeling it’s like they have a life of their own.
Then there’s the strutting boogie of ‘Shy Shy Shy’ which keeps the party going by dancing along the ivories like a Champagne soaked Fred Astaire. If you’re not tapping your cane along to this then your cane is probably white with a red band!
More organ unfolds during the splendid ‘Secretary Blues’ and conjures up a beautiful air of ’70s style Deep Purple. And the gentle pace of ‘Feels Like Home’ that follows lifts the soul like with its warm campfire like glow. Jorg Wesenberg has a voice as smooth as a fine whiskey with subtle smokey undertones that compliment each song no matter the style, be it ballad or rocker. Just check out the next track, ‘Ain’t Got Nothin’ Better’, for evidence of that. It’s a footstompin’ blast through a sleazy bar that will have sawdust and splinters spewing from your speakers.
There’s also a couple of new tracks thrown in to keep the established fans happy too. ‘Call My Name’ takes a soulful slide down a moonlit country path like Chris Isaak on his way to a date with Loretta Lynn. Then we have ‘Caroline’, token cover song and Quo diamond, a undeniable classic given a Kickhunter twist to make it their own.
‘Southern Kicks’ is a terrific representation of what Kickhunter have been offering their fans for just over a decade and as they’re currently busy working on their fourth studio album it would seem there’s going to be plenty more quality tunes coming along in the not too distant future. In the meantime this is a great place for new fans to jump on a fast moving train to a place where only country dreams and good time rock ‘n’ roll really matter.