Nuclear Blast is in re-release mood, because after AVANTASIA also Tobias Sammet’s regular band EDGUY is experiencing a deja-vu in form of “The Singles”, a compilation of the last three EPs “Superheroes”, “Lavatory Love Machine” and “King Of Fools”, now available on one handy CD. And even though they are featured in the chronologically wrong order, you still can see the departure from their Power Metal days and the continued incorporation of Rock influences into their sound, together with a stronger feeling of humour in their lyrics. So in a way this is something of a history lesson in the musical evolution of this band. Plus the EPs had not been available outside of Europe, so there seems to be some merit to putting this out again.
Anyways, depending on where you stand you will now dispute the merit of said evolution, but if you just look at the quality of the music involved, EDGUY still stand head and shoulders above comparable acts. The tracks here show partly Power Metal remnants, partly the more accessible Rock influences and partly a mix of exactly these two different periods of their history. And maybe that’s why I am having one hell of a time to put down my thoughts about this disc. “Superheroes” is a nice light Metal track with irresistible catchiness, but on the EP of that title “Judas In The Opera” with Michael Kiske, a rip-roaring beast of a Metal song that shows all the strengths of EDGUY. The “Lavatory Love Machine” EP is considerably shorter, with the title track being there in the original and an acoustic version, which combines the Metal and the Rock approach, not a bad one (and catchy as hell), but not so much up my alley… To wrap things up we have the “King Of Fools” EP, which definitely is the heaviest of the bunch, preceding the “Hellfire Club” album, with nice crunch all the way through, “King Of Fools”, “New Age Messiah”, “The Savage Union”…
Three songs that I have not yet mentioned are the bonus tracks of each EP. First off “The Spirit”, a cover version of the MAGNUM classic, brilliant song by a brilliant band and a good cover version as well, then we have “I’ll Cry For You”, one of the less happy songs of Sweden’s EUROPE and then one of the most hilarious ones ever: “Life And Times Of A Bonustrack”, a little goofy, but closer to the truth than many would think!
If you are an avid collector, then you probably already have the EPs and this is of no interest to you, if you don’t, then pick it up, there’s some cool and funny stuff to be found, especially if you like to experience some of the rarer stuff.
(Online July 14, 2009)