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By this point, Running Wild was developing into a harsh heavy metal band with a sick image. Nearly ten years since the formation (when Rolf was merely 15!) and the band would also strike gold the same year with the Death Metal split, which would be followed later by the full-length debut. Things were looking up, but the strength of their tracks from the Death Metal split caught someone’s attention, helping garner a separate release for the tracks themselves.
“Iron Heads” shows a sloppier, less refined side to the band compared to the material that they’d be releasing later on. The early Iron Maiden cop-out works for the second track’s party-vibe, but “Iron Heads” has little to rest its head on. Rolf’s vocals are the weakest aspect – deep speaking with a shoddy accent and more than one occasion where he sort of gives up on his lines and begins muttering and whining. This bailout stays alive when working with this punkish formula, but anywhere else and it’d be suicide. Bass attempts to back up everything as best as possible, and the audibility (line for line) is astounding – almost on par with Jens Becker’s lines later in the band’s career. The lines themselves follow the rhythm for the most part, which in “Bones And Ashes”’s case is a good thing.
Drumming doesn’t necessarily get repetitive, but the same consistency throughout is something that loses your interest quicker than the vocals. The difference is that you can’t stop hearing the vocals – they’re so apparent compared to the drumming. The tone isn’t as surging and evil as it would be later down the road (as in the same year), so you get this sort of dry atmosphere throughout the whole thing.
While not much of a teaser, the band quickly pulled themselves together during the same year and ended up releasing a pretty decent full-length with a couple standout tracks on it. You’d never expect them if you just heard these two tracks, though, so hopefully it surprises you like it did for me. The band would outgrow this raw sound after a couple of years, and I’d say it was for the better.