Introduction and band history:
Veteran Austrian hard rockers strike back with the first new album in seven years with a revamped line up. For those of you who are not familiar with the band I will start with a short biography. Blind Petition was formed as far back as 1974 by the only constant member guitarist/vocalist Hannes “Fusel” Bartsch and fellow guitarist Georg Martikan. Together with bassplayer Andreas Bernas and drummer Robert Suk they set out to conquer the world. A debut album was recorded as far back as 1977 but was shelved for some reason and remains unreleased to this day. Blind Petition toured central Europe for many years building a stronger following and an underground/cult status especially in native Austria.
During the first part of the 1980´s there was a strong rivalry with fellow Austrian band No Bros. The debut single called “Blind Petition” was released in 1980 followed by two singles in 1983/84 called “Highway Devils” and “Feelin´ High”. The first “real” album was surprisingly a live-album called
Tschingo Bingo and it was released in 1986. Just after its release new lead vocalist Phil Reinhard joined the band for the first real studio effort (Welcome to Win, 1987). This album spawned the minor hit single “Running Wild”.
More touring followed before the band, yet another time, changed frontmen when ex Blowin´ Free singer Gary Wheeler joined the band and the classic line up was in place for third effort, Perversum Maximum, which was a huge step forward when it comes to both writing and production. Blind Petition embark on several international gigs and played for instance the music festival Muzeko 90 in Donetsk in what was then the Soviet Union. The band opened up for bands like Motörhead, Black Sabbath, Krokus and Blue Öyster Cult. They also released another live album simply called Live in 1990. Just before breaking up in the mid 1990´s they released what I consider their finest effort; The Elements of Rock, in 1992. Just before calling it a day they released yet another live album called Light in 1993 followed by a best of collection named Gold in 1994
Blind Petition then found their way back to the music scene in 2004 with the new album No Prisoners. The next effort was a reunion with Gary Wheeler aptly titled Bloody Reunion in 2007. Then things went silent until 2014 when Blind Petition strike back with a new album and a revamped line up consisting of Hannes Bartsch with new lead vocalist/guitarist David Strohmeier, Bertl Bartsch on guitar, Thomas Gehrke on bass and Harald Bartsch behind the drum kit.
The new album Law & Order is a huge step forward and sees the band clearly revitalized mainly due to new singer and guitarist David Strohmeier. The production is great with a modern sound. The songs are all heavy rockers with mostly great and memorable riffs. I have at times found it hard to really get into the lead vocals which I find a bit too modern with a slight “grunge feel” to it.
The sound of the new album is as solid as a rock and after being alive and kickin´still after 40 years the band should be respected for that alone. Without being groundbreaking in any way the new album serves up 11 compositions of hard hitting and guitar driven rock songs. Nothing fancy just pure and simple hard rock.
Track by track:
The albums starts up with heavy rocker “Like Hell” which contains some heavy riffing and a few nice tempo shifts. Definitely one of the stronger tracks on the album and a great opener! This is followed by “People” which is a nice mid tempo rock song which continues in the next song called “The Score”. Both these songs are very modern in the vocal style and the structure of the songs with hints of Pearl Jam and Creed. Not really my cup of tea style wise.
The album continues with the title track “Law & Order” which starts with a very nice acoustic intro and a strong chorus making this the highlight so far of the album. Nice chorus. Track #5 called, “Highway Devils”, offers a bit of change in style with its blues infused riffs and groovy bass-line. Lots of harmonica on this song and not being a fan of harmonica this is one of the weaker tracks. Not the strongest hand in the deck in my opinion but still a nice song. This is followed by “God of Rock & Roll” which is a very nice hard rock song with heavy grooves and a melodic, memorable chorus. A strong effort indeed. Next song called “How Long” sees the band slowing it down a bit to a slow rocker but still heavy . Next up is “Feelin High” which offers a heavy chopping guitar and some nice solos from Bartsch. The record rounds off with the songs “Won´t You” and “Blind Petition” which are both straight ahead hard rockers with heavy riffing. “Won´t You” is also the first single and video from Law and Order.
|Photo: Blind Petition|
The new album Law & Order is a huge step forward and sees the band clearly revitalized mainly due to new singer and guitarist David Strohmeier. The production is great with a modern sound. The strength of a new vocalist and a modern production is also the weakness of this record in my opinion. I have at times hard to really get into the lead vocals which I find a bit too modern with a slight “grunge feel” to it. The vocal style of new singer Strohmeier is sometimes too similar to bands like Pearl Jam (Eddie Vedder), but I guess that´s just a matter of taste. The songs are all heavy rockers with mostly great and memorable riffs but lacking the melody and strong hook-lines from albums such as Perversum Maximum and The Elements of Rock. This is easily the strongest effort since 1992 years The Elements of Rock and it´s nice to see the band back. I would give this new album a rating of 6/10. A new album and a tour seems like a great idea and it´s a nice way to introduce the new line up and the new lead vocalist. For those of you unfamiliar with this band – and there are too many, please check them out. Welcome back boys!