Beowülf "The Re-Releases" CDPosted on Wednesday, March 15th, 2006 @ 2:27pm » permalink
For some reason I had never even heard of Beowülf until yesterday, but I was thrilled to learn that the mid- to late-80's Venice, CA act was down with the whole Suicidal Tendencies crew, having released both their self-titled 1986 debut and the 1988 follow-up, "Lost My Head", on Suicidal Records. Apparently, like many of those early Suicidal Records classics (Ahem, when the fuck is the No Mercy LP finally going to come out on CD!?), neither Beowülf album was ever available beyond the realm of vinyl (or possibly cassette), but thankfully I Scream Records has just issued both LP's on one handy disc titled "The Re-releases" (which was apparently also originally released as an LP on Suicidal Records in 1988) for all of us to enjoy.
Well, the band kicks ass, that's for sure. However, they don't really sound anything like their Venice contemporaries of the time. Not the metal-tinged hardcore/punk of Suicidal Tendencies or No Mercy, not the crossover thrash of Excel, etc. No, let's just say the umlaut in their band name is more than a fitting ode, because they basically sound almost identical to Motörhead – just with a little more consistency and a zippier metallic edge that does kind of have a thrashy ring to it. But yeah, for the most part, total Motörhead worship, but in the best possible way, as it's rocked out but has the more aggressive edge that a lot of younger listeners probably found Motörhead to be lacking at the time (Let's face it, most of us who grew up in the 80's didn't really appreciate Motörhead until a little later on, did we?). These fuckers wrote some badass tunes, though, and some of this shit is so catchy it's unbelievable. I'm way into it, and here are two tracks from each LP:
The only gripes I have with this collection, and they're fairly minor ones, are that the original album covers only appear as small images underneath the CD tray, as opposed to getting full pages in order to show more detail. But more importantly, the only liner notes included are a brief page from one of the members of the Dutch hardcore band Right Direction, who happens to be a huge Beowülf fan. That's all fine and dandy, but that doesn't provide anyone with any actual information on the band – be it where they are today or what was going on back when they were actually around, you know? Lyrics are included, which is awesome, but I'd rather have seen some liner notes written by the band or about their history… though, again, it's not that big a deal.
I think this is one of the first releases for I Scream's American division, so it should start making its way out there a little more soon (it just came out Tuesday), but for now you can still grab it at Revelation Records. So cut the shit and get on it, 'cause you know you missed the boat on this the first time around, just like I did: