Fair Warning – “Pimp Your Past” (Steamhammer / SPV)
Something of rock legends in Japan, these German hard rockers certainly personify every aspect of the ‘guitar god’ image from their par excellence musicianship to their superb music! Formed in 1991 by former V2 vocalist Tommy Heart and former Zeno bassist Ule W. Ritgen, Fair Warning bring together the hard rocking spectacle of “Lovedrive” era Scorpions with the melodic majesty of 80s AOR like Tyketto – now that’s quite a combination!! From Heart’s unashamedly gentle vocals possessing bunches of soul to crooning harmony choruses, Helge Engelke‘s guitar goes straight for the heart each time either with teasing riffs to more fiery fretboard burning but in all cases, the melodies are so powerful it’s hard to resist – indeed that would explain their popularity over 8 studio releases, 3 live albums and 2 compilations! “Pimp Your Past”, however, is not a new album but re-recordings of selected songs like ‘Out On The Run‘, ‘When Love Fails‘ and ‘Burning Heart‘ culled from their first 3 albums, “Fair Warning”, “Rainmaker” and “Go!”. For the band its a chance to shed new light on their beginnings with fresh arrangements by acknowledging their musical growth either in the detail of new grooves, altering the tempo – or in some cases changing the sound altogether such as removing the keyboards on ‘Rain Song’. Well, the new rockier sound, added to by CC Behrens hard drumming, is captured in an organic mix that while having no frills doesn’t do away with the essence of the originals – quite the opposite in fact, by breathing new life into timeless tracks rather than relegating them into extinction!