There is this wave in Europe that features a revival of the 80’s Glam band. There are some very good ones and some very bad ones. Julian Angel’s Beautiful Beast from Germany is one of the higher regarded. As I’ve never listened to them before I had no idea what to expect. I was a little leery since this is only a three piece yet Mr. Angel felt the need to put his name in the band name anyway. Maybe he’s just trying to be the Tyler Perry of Germany. Then there’s the album cover for Kicking Down The Barricades. I know I’m not a great writer but even if I was Stephen King I could not do it justice. Basically it looks like a 10th Grade metalhead designed an album cover.
To say it’s ridiculous would be an understatement. What’s worse is that this is a trend for European metal acts. I think it’s an attempt to look retro but it just looks cheesy and embarrassing.
Now for the actual music on Kick Down The Barricade, you start off with “Bad Boys Never Dance” and you run into another hurdle. Lyrically the album is very stilted and you wonder if there is a language barrier or they’re trying to be authentic to the era. Either way it’s grating at times.
Julian Angel is the vocalist and guitarist of the band. His voice has an unusual and scratchy quality that takes a bit of getting use to. The harmonies are top notch too. Now his guitar playing is very exceptional. The soloing is top notch and fits each song perfectly.
“Unsexy” is an extremely catchy song with a hooky chorus that could have been in regular rotation on Headbanger’s Ball. Same can be said of “Big Stuff” with it’s Warrant inspired verses and big choruses. “Shake Me Back Home” is very reminiscent of Junkyard’s “Simple Man” but still has a certain charm to it. The album ends nicely with a a dirty slinky number in “Six In The Red”.
When I first listened to Kick Down The Barricades I thought it was a demos from the 80’s that had been re-released. With the cover, lyrics, sound, it comes across as a bit dated. Maybe it’s the innocence and sincerity that help you overlook the rough patches and you appreciate the earnestness and honesty of Julian Angel. In the end you go from a mocking position to one of understanding.
Final rating, I’d be happy paying…
$14.99-Regularly Priced CD
$9.99-Download from iTunes or Amazon
$5.00-wait for Amazon to have it on sale
$1.00-finding at a flea market, car wash, or pawn shop
$0-Not worth the drive space