ANDI DERIS AND THE BAD BANKERS
A solo album or not a solo album? A sticker attached to the front of this promo informs that this is the Helloween frontman's "first solo album...since '99". However, assuming the moniker 'Andi Deris and the Bad Bankers' implies otherwise and accompanying press materials state this is "not so much a solo effort in its original sense but recorded in a band environment to achieve a real band feeling." Band/solo semantics aside, it carries the Deris name and a picture of the guy on the cover so, effectively, it's being generally marketed as a solo venture as, I guess, Andi Deris is a name that will sell records. So what's the concept behind his latest solo/non-solo effort? He's an angry man apparently, quoted as he is on the press sheet with the fuck-driven rant of "fuck banks, fuck managers, fuck bankers." He's kind of got a point within today's unsettled economic climate although there's something just a little bit Spinal Tap about the whole thing. I refrained from saying it earlier but 'Andi Deris and the Bad Bankers' is just a thoroughly shit name for a record on which the man's trying to assert a serious socio-political statement. Within the album's booklet, musicians are credited with 'Bad Guitars'; 'Bad Bass'; 'Bad Drums' and, Deris himself, 'Bad Vocals'. There's a spoof metal vibe about it. And it doesn't help by having an opening track called 'Cock'. And does the world really need a song about 'The War of the Worlds' first radio broadcast?
Despite its Spinal Tap aesthetic, the music itself is actually rather good. Surprisingly so. It's a long way from the power metal fantasy land of his day-job band. Rather, songs are characterised by groove-infused down-tuned heavy riffage and tinged with classic hard rock flavourings throughout. And Deris' vocal performance is also consistently great during the album's entirety. Mixing up the high-end histrionic of his range (although nothing too over the top), he also infuses his voice with a degree of anger as and when required for songs' themes. That said, there's something a little surreal and wrong about a 49 year old man angrily singing the line: "Tell your mother, stick your cock into another." Melodically catchy all the way through, although not overtly so à la Helloween, 'Million Dollar Haircuts on Ten Cent Heads' is well worth a listen. And, personally, I wait with the utmost of anticipated amusement, the pun-fuelled fun journos and fans will have with 'Cock'. I believe Blabbermouth got there first with the headline: "Helloween singer's 'Cock' introduced in Bad Bankers studio video." Lovely stuff!
MILLION DOLLAR HAIRCUTS ON TEN CENT HEADS
Review by Mark Holmes
9th Dec 2013
2) Will We Ever Change
3) Banker's Delight (Dead or Alive)
5) Don't Listen to the Radio (TWOTW 1938)
6) Who Am I
7) Must Be Dreaming
8) The Last Days of Rain
10) This Could Go On Forever
11) I Sing Myself Away
COUNTRY OF ORIGIN:
"There's a spoof metal vibe about it. And it doesn't help by having an opening track called 'Cock'."