It’s been three years since Running Wild released their last album, Rapid Foray. To ease the pain for the vociferous fans waiting for a new release that is tentatively scheduled for about Summer 2020 (in the Northern Hemisphere), Running Wild have come to the party with an EP release – Crossing The Blades, featuring four new tracks, including a cover of the Kiss classic Strutter.
I first came across Running Wild when I found the magnificent Port Royal back in my heady youth. Unfortunately for many years, I had lost track of them before purchasing a subscription to Spotify and catching up with the bands of my past in the last couple of years. Listening to this EP brings back memories of those times when I first found Port Royal.
The title track of Crossing the Blades is a change in composition for the band. Rock ‘n Rolf Kasparek (lead singer, guitar) explains that normally a Running Wild song is based upon the guitar riff, however in this case it’s a bass line with the guitar only contributing chords. It really does work with a rollicking good time had listening to it, with lyrics thematically based on the musketeer motto of “all for one, one for all”. This is the only way to get this version of the song as when it appears on the next album it will have been completely re-recorded and a number of changes.
Next up is Stargazed, which has been presented to the fans at Wacken attendees at W.O.A. in 2018. It is a great number with a lot of dynamic riffs and gives that familiar Running Wild sound.
The cover of the Kiss track, Strutter is an interesting choice but sits nicely in keeping the interest over the four tracks. Kasparek explains “A few months ago, the Kiss show in Hanover during their farewell tour brought back memories of my beginnings as a musician. Kiss were the reason why I founded my first band Granite Heart in 1976, a predecessor of Running Wild. At the time, I found two songs particularly outstanding: Deuce and of course Strutter. At that Kiss show in Hanover I noticed that they don’t play Strutter live. That’s why I decided to record my own version, as an homage to my first idols, of course in typical Running Wild style and with a little more steam than the Kiss original.”
Finishing off the EP is Ride on the Wild Side which is a faster track that is a solid rocker. The song leaves you wanting more which is what the intent is, this is a taster to get you primed for the next album. I know I can’t wait.
The Crossing the Blades EP is out on December 6 through Steamhammer/SPV.
1. Crossing The Blades 5:25
2. Stargazed 3:40
3. Strutter 3:05
4. Ride On The Wild Side 4:05
Running Wild are:
Rock N’ Rolf– guitar, vocals
Peter Jordan– guitars
Ole Hempelmann – bass
Michael Wolpers – drums