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Novelty B side? Check. - 88%

hells_unicorn, November 30th, 2008

Though Leatherwolf had pretty much hit the ground running from their inception, it wasn’t until the late 80s that they really started to come into their own, and this single is the first signal of it. Take all of the best elements of Accept’s approach to a power ballad, tone down the raunchiness of the lead vocal performance ever so slightly, put in solos that are about twice as crazy and expand upon the acoustic to electric changeup that made “It’s Hard To Find A Way” so climactic and you’ve basically got the bare elements of this song. It’s amazing what you can do with 3 or 4 chords when you add the right amount of detailing, and this song showcases that the most important detail is that when things do kick into high gear, the crucial element is the dense background vocal chorus, and man do they have that covered. If you put your stereo up to ten during this chorus the shock from the addition of all the extra sounds that come in would be enough to make the foundation of your house shutter.

But funnily enough, the novelty of the B side is so strong that it all but completely overshadows the greatness of the title track. I’m not quite familiar with every single power metal act that was putting out material during the 80s, but I’ve never heard of a metal band turning a CCR song, let alone an acoustic one like “Bad Moon Rising, into a half-punk and half-speed metal anthem. You could maybe draw a small comparison to the Brazilian power metal outfit Viper (Andre Matos’ band before starting Angra) doing something similar to Queen’s “We Will Rock You”, and that was done 4 years afterward and didn’t have half the intensity and fire that this thing has.

If it weren’t for the fact that both of these songs were already on the band’s 2nd studio album, I’d entertain the idea of suggesting that you’d sell yourself on the street to hear the CCR cover, but since we’re not in that sort of predicament, definitely pick up the band’s second self-titled album, and remember that it’s the one with the band on the cover, not the one with the wolf. I know its confusing when a band has two different albums with exactly the same name, but this is Leatherwolf, so they can get away with it.