Thursday, March 23, 2017

Accept-Accept (Platinum Edition)

AFM Records

Originally released in 1979 to little fanfare, Accept's self-titled debut is just one of the four albums by this classic German heavy metal band that will be getting a Platinum Edition upgrade courtesy of AFM Records. Along with the (much better) albums, "Breaker", "I'm A Rebel", and "Restless and Wild", "Accept" will be reissued as a Digipak edition with bonus material. This album features an audio interview with former lead vocalist and founder, Udo Dirkschneider. The other three reissues with come with previously unreleased live tracks that were recorded on the latest "Dirkschneider" tour. Ultimately I hope to cover all four of these reissues, but we will just have to wait and see how much free time I can muster. Even as we speak I have at least five CDS that I need to listen to and review, but with Accept being one of my all time favorite (true) heavy metal bands...well, I feel obligated to trek forward. With that brief introduction out of the way, "Accept" is an album that not even the band is crazy about. From what I've previously read on the topic (and from what Udo says in the bonus interview that comes with this reissue), "Accept" was a collection of older materiel that had no real direction or focus. It was all the songs that the band had worked on during it's formative years and they were just happy to be able to get into a studio and record a album. As can be heard on "Breaker", Accept's material got a whole lot better as they went along and settle on a more permanent sound. Or at least that was the case up until the release of "Balls To The Wall"*, but that is a different topic that is better saved for another time!  Anyway, "Accept" opens with the album's first single and arguable the best track of the lot, "Lady Lou". In another band's hands (oh, let's say a seventies British hard rock band) this 3 minute rocker could have been a long lost single from the early days of the N.W.O.B.H.M. scene. It is catchy number that will get stuck in your head and it is pretty easy to see why it appears on future Accept compilation releases. From there we have more misses than hits. Please don't mistake me. By "hits" I really mean passable numbers. "Tired of Me" is a decent stab at heavy metal and so is "Helldriver". Then you have the shortest track of the bunch in "Street Fighter". Strange as it is, "Street Fighter" is like a punk rock take on Bon Scott's AC/DC. It is raw, ugly, and noisy. It's a weird way to end this under-produced album, but I kind of like it. God knows why. If you were to give extra points for just going there, "Seawinds" is this odd ballad that is sung by bassist Peter Baltes. It has a progressive rock vibe and it sticks out like a sore thumb, but all the same I guess you could make an argument for it's existence. For those of you who are keeping count that is five tracks out of ten. And to be brutally honest folks, "Lady Lou" is the only song that I would ever hit replay on. As much as it kills me to say this, "Accept" is only for purists who absolutely & positively must have everything that has the German band's name on it.  

*I'm getting on in my years so you will have to forgive the nostalgia some here, but "Balls To The Wall" is the very definition of (pure/unfitted) heavy metal! Yes, it is Accept going on a  AC/DC bender and all but forgetting about their (previous) stint as early pioneers of German speed metal. And sure enough everyone that is a causal fan of Accept says it is their best album. I get all of that. Maybe it is because it was my first taste of the group or maybe it's those rich lyrics by Gaby Hoffmann. It could even be the whole AC/DC vibe ("Who Made Who" being the first ever cassette tape that I bought). Whatever it is, "Balls To The Walls" redefined "true heavy metal" to me. From that first Accept tape I went went backwards and filled in the gaps by way of LPs. Even so I didn't hear "Accept" until years later. This 2017 reissue brings back a wave of emotions while simultaneously showcasing the band's eventual growth. It is a humble recording that shows you just how far Udo and company were able to go.

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