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Kickhunter - "All In" (CD)

Kickhunter - "All In" CD cover image

"All In" track listing:

1. Mine All Mine (4:01)
2. Revolution (6:31)
3. Another Tear (6:06)
4. Feels Like Home (5:52)
5. All In (0:59)
6. Shy Shy Shy (5:07)
7. Check's In The Mail (4:25)
8. Boogie Town (4:18)
9. Deep In My Heart (6:20)
10. Call Me (3:39)
11. Ocean (6:55)

Reviewed by on December 4, 2010

"'...this German band does southern hard rock better than most bands born below the Mason-Dixon'"

Sometimes I come across an album and debate about reviewing it for Metalunderground because it just doesn't quite fit the metal mold. Such was the case with Kickhunter's "All In," but after taking a listen, I decided metal or not, this album warranted talking about.

Though the music is solid retro southern bluesy rock, there are some names familiar to the metal world. Helloween's Markus Grosskopf serves as bassist for this German band's lineup, and Accept's Herman Frank makes a guest appearance on the cover of Victory's "Check's In The Mail."

There are also plenty of sounds reminiscent of great bands a lot of metal fans grew up on, like Lynyrd Skynyrd. Check out the guitar riff in the semi-ballad "Feels Like Home" and you'll easily recognize pieces of "Freebird." This track is actually one of the best on the album, mixing pretty piano with guitar and some gospel sounding female vocals. The song is like an ever changing river, with a tempo that moves from slow to upbeat, melancholy to inspiring, and reminds me a lot of some of Guns n Roses' 80's ballads.

Another good one is the Pink Floyd inspired "Ocean," which begins with a slow guitar that makes it sound like the closer for some smoky, blue collar pool hall, but then takes on almost a psychedelic feel.

Perhaps the smoky blue collar bar image is the perfect way to describe this music – fun, foot stomping, melodic tunes that combine the piano style of Jerry Lee Lewis, the gospel sounds of a black southern church, lead vocals similar to Cheap Trick's Robin Zander, and the guitar work of ZZ Top. Simply put, this German band does southern hard rock better than most bands born below the Mason-Dixon, and if you're a fan of the genre, you can't go wrong with "All In."

Highs: The tunes combine old timey blues synths with more modern guitar work to create awesome hard rock tracks.

Lows: The cover of Blondie's "Call Me" adds a bit too much cheese.

Bottom line: Fun, light, melodic hard rock that's perfect for fans of Lynyrd Skynyrd, ZZ Top, and other southern rock classic acts.

Rated 4 out of 5 skulls
4 out of 5 skulls

Rating Description
Rated 5 out of 5 skulls Perfection. (No discernable flaws; one of the reviewer's all-time favorites)
Rated 4.5 out of 5 skulls Near Perfection. (An instant classic with some minor imperfections)
Rated 4 out of 5 skulls Excellent. (An excellent effort worth picking up)
Rated 3.5 out of 5 skulls Good. (A good effort, worth checking out or picking up)
Rated 3 out of 5 skulls Decent. (A decent effort worth checking out if the style fits your tastes)
Rated 2.5 out of 5 skulls Average. (Nothing special; worth checking out if the style fits your taste)
Rated 2 out of 5 skulls Fair. (There is better metal out there)
< 2 skulls Pretty Bad. (Don't bother)