Thursday, August 23, 2012

Prollhead! - Prall!


It's always exciting getting a package from Germany. I've become friendly with a Mighty High fan in Hamburg who's seen some amazing shows, most notably Scorpions when Michael Schenker rejoined the band in late 1978. So when he sends me something I know it's going to be good. The most recent gift was an original vinyl copy of the debut album from Prollhead!. I had no idea what to expect but the busty lady on the front cover got my attention right away, so off I went to the turntable. The hairy chested dude on the back cover holding an electric razor made me a little uncomfortable, though.

As soon as the needle hit the groove I had to look up the release date. Judging by the sound, I was convinced this was a Dieter Dierks production I'd never heard of. Dieter got his start with Krautrock bands like Tangerine Dream and Nektar but  also produced many classics from Scorpions, Accept and Coup d'√Čtat by the Plasmatics. His metal specialty was a very hard, precise crunch in the guitars and that's exactly the sound of this Prollhead! album. My guess was a 1985 or 86 release date, but was shocked to find out it was released in 1994! I guess it was allowed in 1990's Europe but this kind of sound would have been completely rejected by any American record company. The lyrics sung in German didn't help them get a US deal, either.

Anyway, Prall! by Prollhead! reminds me a lot of Manitoba's Wild Kingdom, the band assembled by some members of The Dictators in the late 80's/early 90's. Prollhead! is a bit more metal but has a similar AC/DC influenced heavy rock feel combined with a sense of humor. Album opener "Typen Wie Dich" sounds like Lovedrive era Scorpions tackling "Chinatown" by Thin Lizzy. Non-German speakers will find it entertaining that the chorus sounds like they're screaming "tooth decay." "Sie Hat's Drauf" is pure "Highway To Hell"/"Allright Now" anthemic autobahn boogie. "Hey Punker" borrows heavily from "Hell's Bells." I need someone to translate this one for me but my guess is that's it's making fun of pretentious punkers. Prollhead! put their "Balls To The Wall" on "Hasch Und Rock." Starting off with someone doing a massive bong hit, the slow boil riff is the heaviest on the album.

There are two cover songs on the album must be heard to be believed. On side one there's "Na Und?," an unbelievable version of the filthy "So What?" by the Anti-Nowhere League (later covered by Metallica) and on side two there's "Rauch Auf Dem Wasser." Yes, that means "Smoke On The Water" in German. Hearing lyrics like "Frank Zappa seine Mutter" and "und fewer in der luft" (fire in the sky) are entertaining and educational. "Kleine Lust" is not a Bob Dylan song but starts off with a hilarious Dylan imitation. By strange coincidence, one of Prollhead!'s members has a last name of Zimmermann to add to my foreign language confusion.

I would have to imagine that Tesco Vee of the Meatmen loves this band. Anyone who likes Turbonegro would probably like this, too. Hell, anyone who loves good hard rock and has a sense of humor would. Actually, anyone who doesn't like Prollhead! is just a boring party pooper and deserves an eternity of Wilco bootlegs.


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