Volle Kraft Voraus (Full Speed Ahead), the new album from German bruisers 9MM, is one of those raucous riots you just want to get involved in. Though not an album to offer anything particularly new, the release just bruises and pleases with mischievous intent and accomplished invention. It is an uncomplicated slab of unbridled rock n roll driven by a bolshie fusion of hard rock, heavy metal, thrash, and punk rock, a mixture which just lights up the senses and leaves a well of enjoyment behind.
The band is constantly compared to the likes of Running Wild and Tankard, which is accurate enough but throughout Volle Kraft Voraus the band pushes added flavours into the brew bringing thoughts of Municipal Waste, Wednesday 13, and Beastie Boys to name just a few. It all adds for an album which feeds multiple tastes whilst staying within its adrenaline charged battering. At times it ignites the fullest rapture whilst in other moments incites a full but less ardour led satisfaction, yet from start to finish the album does nothing but then leave an invigorated pleasure behind.
Released through Napalm Records, the album wonderfully antagonises the ear from first note on starting with opener Geh mir aus den Augen and its Sex Pistols tinted beginning. With melodic enterprise wrapping the storming riffs and chest beating vocals, the track parties with feisty attitude and intentions upon the senses. The punk n roll blend eagerly stomps and ignites the passions leading to the only real problem of the album, every song presented in German leaving us language limited rioters unable to fully join in the impossibly infectious encounter.
The equally testosterone raging Jetzt feiern wir mit Freunden follows to keep the intensity of fun and energy at tempest levels, guitars and bass seizing the heart with inciting riffs and delicious melodic craft whilst the rhythms rally the emotions into action to join the drunken entourage masking as a song. Like its predecessor the punky song is an impossible to resist encounter triggering all the joy only the best filth lined rock n roll can and setting the release off at a high level of sound and enjoyment.
There is good variation across the album as shown with the thrashy title track, the classic metal toned Libertad o muerte with its slight pagan/power metal breath, and the heavy metal feast that is Mainstream. The last of these three still has that element of punk to its heart which captivates as much as the crafted diversity unveiled on the song and whole release. Arguably these tracks and others do not quite reach the heights and passion pulling strengths of the opening pair but still leave one grinning in pleasure and gratitude. There are songs which do easily rival those earlier songs, starting firstly with the insatiable Dem Freund die Hand – Dem Feind die Stirn with its enticing drums and Suicidal Tendencies like group harmonies. It is a contagion which grabs hold and invites as much participation as is possible, a bar room bash with no holds barred.
Further pinnacles come with the excellent heart thumping blowout Im Namen des Herrn, and arguably the album’s greatest moments in the shape of the closing trio of songs. First up there is Popstars 2015, the song another irrepressible call to arms seemingly against something, swiftly followed by the outstanding Ich will hier raus. This rocking encounter is a dirty brew of gritty riffs, snarling vocals, and the ever delicious bestial growling of the bass which is a real treat throughout the album alongside equally impressive guitar and drum creativity. The band saves the best to last with the mighty Prosit, a track which is like a returning old friend, everything about the song familiar but brought with a stronger and addict forming craft. From the resonating rhythms to the snarling bass and the flames of guitar, not forgetting the gang chants, the song is one undemanding wholly rewarding honest celebration.
Lyrically the songs are said to address uncomfortable truths and issues though it was impossible to verify from our verbal limitations but it really is not an issue when the sounds and experience is as thrilling and explosive as on Volle Kraft Voraus. The album is the perfect metal party album, something new but with a familiarity which only adds and endears to the passion and heart of the event; with its great quality though 9MM ensures it is also a release which finds a welcome place at anytime and anywhere. The only possible suggestion is to go and enjoy.
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