Incredible Pack - Time For Decisions (CD)
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When three rock icons get together, whose past reads like a who's who of the German music scene, and who then devote themselves to blues rock, you can expect an “unbelievable package”. In 2017, guitar genius Andreas Schmid-Martelle, the 'german pope of drumming' (US Drummer Magazine) Manni von Bohr and the bass man with international stature, Ufo Walter, found a power trio whose music "Straight and Tough" comes out of the speakers and lives up to the band name: "Incredible Pack". “Andreas, Ufo and I have been on the German scene with various bands for a long time and we know what we want to play. We are a real, honest power trio who let the fresh rock'n'roll wind blow into the somewhat polished pop and rock scene in Germany, "Manni explains the intention of the band. And Andreas adds, "Our music is 90 percent rock'n'roll, 5 percent blues and 5 percent funk".
After their first album “Packed in Blue” (2020), which could best be described as blues rock made in Texas, on their successor “Time For Decisions” (03.12.2021) they again show a Texas-influenced blues rock, which is a successful liaison with classic / hard rock. During the time when there were no events, the guys decided to be creative rather than moping up and are now releasing a second album.
Stylistically, the “Incredible Pack” continues its powerful line on “Time For Desicions” and Martelle succeeds in creating songs with a high recognition value with the right instinct in songwriting. In doing so, he successfully mixes several styles of music in individual songs, without any apparent breaks in the pieces. For example, the initially hard rocking “Hot Shots”, in which Martelle sets off to the rather hard Texan blues rock with a guitar solo that also goes well with ZZ Top.
The stylistic diversity is made possible by two masters of their field, the two rock veterans, Manni von Bohr and Ufo Walter, who form a rhythm section that provides a full and downright driving sound basis. In addition, the versatile guitar playing by Martelle, who, in addition to the rhythm work, repeatedly intersperses fine solos. "We play music for ears, brains and legs, with catchy, high-energy songs that are neither flat nor unimaginative," explains Manni.
Analogies to greats of the blues can sometimes be seen in the songs, in that melodies or solos are skilfully incorporated into the band's own song structure in a slightly modified way, so that Jimmy Hendrix fans have memories of "Little Wing" in the slightly ballad-like "Let Me Be Your Friend" can arise. In a sense, it is a journey through time through the world of heavier blues rock, in which groovy numbers such as "Sleeping With The Lights On", which Dr. Feelgood is a good example. Or the hard “Disbelieve”, in which the vocals in the chorus already go in the direction of Lemmy; with Martelle's diverse voice being a touch softer. With "I Don`t Think About Her" and "Josefine" there are two bonus tracks on the CD, which qualitatively cannot be seen as filling the gaps, because a CD simply fits more than a vinyl album.
“Time For Decisions” is a self-contained oeuvre that appeals to die-hard blues fans with a fine hand in songwriting and the compilation of songs. With this, the old guard of German rock shows that they are far from old and that they are still bursting with energy. And there will soon be this energy live on stage with a full setlist from both albums. “We haven't been able to tour yet and haven't played a concert with this line-up. But we're really excited to play the program live and the audience is expecting a full load of 'Rock' n 'Roll right in yer face', "says Martelle enthusiastically.
With “Time For Decisions”, the Incredible Pack made a good decision for itself and all blues and rock fans - an invitation to let off steam.
(Text: Gernot Mangold / Merle Lotz)
01 Sleeping With The Lights On
02 Hot Shot
04 Practice What You Preach
05 Time For A Decision
06 Let Me Be Your Friend
07 The Crazy Ones Want Me
08 Worse Before It Gets Better
09 I Can’t Cry
10 Dangerous Age
11 Don’t Think About Her When You’re Trying To Drive
12 Hello Josephine