U.D.O. Celebrator: Rare Tracks

U.D.O. Celebrator: Rare Tracks
Actually listening to music before reviewing it is in the job description, but for a double CD of rare U.D.O. tracks, we all know what it will sound like. Twenty-five more U.D.O. songs that sound like every other U.D.O. song from the German band's now-lengthy and quite awesome career (25 years and going strong). U.D.O. songs fall into two categories: speedy, "Painkiller"-esque power/trad thrashers and mid-tempo Accept-ian stomps (and, generally, one stinker ballad per disc). Here, we get a ton of tracks previously released as bonus material overseas (all acceptably good, although Dirkschneider's using up his ESL cards pretty quickly titling songs things like "Tallyman" and "Bodyworld"), but there are some twists on the theme: remixes and alternate versions of classics. We get a piano version of Accept classic "Balls to the Wall," something where Lordi shows up for guest vocals and a classical version of "Tears of a Clown." Okay, listen, I'm one of this band's biggest defenders, but unless you're an U.D.O. obsessor (and if you are, hails!), pass on this and stick to one of the more focused and arse-kicking full-lengths instead. Diehards, there's tons of oddities to explore, but it's not going to have a great deal of repeat listen appeal, save the always amazing Raven cover of "Born to Be Wild," featuring Dirkschneider on guest vocals, which is absolutely essential listening. (AFM)