Back then the second U.D.O. album had given me some problems in terms of accessibility. After the very smoothly flowing debut "Animal House" "Mean Machine" had been a good bit gruffer and also a bit bulkier. But as so often the hard-to-digest stuff in the end is the better choice and "Mean Machine" is no exception.
This album was the try to get away from the ACCEPT stigma, which did not really work, for that Udo’s voice is just too characteristic. The songs sounded a little more modern, even though there were a few tracks that still could have stood on an ACCEPT album. But be it as it may, the CD is great from beginning to end. The speedies such as "Don’t Look Back“ let the cow fly, while the title song is the combined Teutonic wrath stomping across the plains and rams everything into the ground. Also potential clichés such as "Dirty Boys" are turned into a happening with U.D.O.. Where most European wannabe Street Rockers fail Udo tops it off and presents all the L.A. poseurs with a healthy kick in the ass. And how the guitarists Andy Susemihl (ex SINNER) and Mathias ’Don’ Dieth (ex SINNER, ex GRAVESTONE) bounce off each other is a true event.
Which album do you know, where you can sing along every riff and solo? And I won’t have to lose many words about the rhythm work of Thomas Smuszynski, Bass (ex DARXON) and skinsman Stefan Schwarzmann (ex HELLOWEEN, ex RUNNING WILD,...) except for: flowing and precise. And this album, too, has an absolute recommendation!!! (Online July 21, 2006)