September 25, 2021

I doubt that there are many out there that do not know that the classy Herman Rarebell was the drummer with the mighty Scorpions in, for me, their glory years. I will always be a fan but there is just something magical about those great albums that he was involved in from 1977 to 1995 and I still get a thrill when playing the likes of Taken By Force, Lovedrive and Animal Magnetism and I will argue with anyone that Tokyo Tapes is one of the greatest live albums ever recorded.

Herman ‘ze German’ was the un-PC moniker that even he used and I still remember his awesome displays at the Sheffield City Hall as, like Neil Peart, took drumming to a new level as he so perfectly melded ability with showmanship. Rarebell also wrote many of the Scorpions greatest songs too and it was a great shock when he left the band in 1996 but, sometimes, good things have to come to an end. He has since released several albums including the obligatory album of Scorpion tracks, Herman Scorpion Songs, but he was involved in the writing process of all the songs on the album so it was a valid release and it still a very entertaining album and well worth checking out.

Nip In The Bud was the first solo album that Herman Rarebell released which he did whilst still in the band which originally came out in 1981 with the 40th anniversary being celebrated by the album being remastered and re-released. It is rather amazing at just how clear, clean and fresh the album sounds and those involved in the remastering have done a brilliant job as this really does feel like a record that has only just been recorded and released. If you haven’t heard the album before then I am sure that you will not be surprised by the fact that it is most definitely Scorpions influenced and, in truth, how could it not be? However, Rarebell also has a huge admiration for the blues based rock of Led Zeppelin and he has incorporated much of the sound of this inspirational band into the album so you get a hard rock album that incorporates the Zeppelin sound too with their version of blues and folk mixing perfectly with Rarebell’s Germanic metal.

It seems that the material on the album was not particularly written with the Scorpions in mind but it does have that Scorpions vibe but the more roots driven approach that he took most certainly brings out a different sound and feel to the album. Rarebell performed the material as a three-piece with singer and bassist Pedro Schemm aka George Phillips and guitarist David Cooper and together they make a tight and compact unit but the three of them most certainly have a huge power output when combined. Cooper contributes some terrific guitar and Schemm brings the material to life with his very Robert Plant delivery.

This remastered version of Nip In The Bud will appeal to all fans of hard rock and there is a nostalgic feel about the record that is most appealing but what will surprise is just how ‘new’ and modern that it sounds.

Nip In The Bud (Remastered) track list

  1. Messing Around (3:21)
  2. Two Timer (3:52)
  3. Havin’ A Good Time (4:01)
  4. Rock Your All (3:24)
  5. Triangle (2:39)
  6. Slob (3:23)
  7. Junk Funk (4:03)
  8. Do it (2:57)
  9. Pancake (3:15)
  10. I’ll Say Goodbye (3:47)