Fourteen years after his first two solo outputs, Andi Deris of Helloween, Pink Cream 69 and Kymera fame comes around with a new project under the banner of Andi Deris and The Bad Bankers. Andi Deris got together with three Spanish musicians in his Tenerife and recorded a few songs that wouldn’t fit to Helloween. The result is sarcastically entitled Million Dollar Haircuts On Ten Cent Heads.
As you might guess, a few lyrics are influenced by Europe’s current financial crisis. This is the case for the angry nu metal driven opener “Cock” that surprises with a few industrial sounds and is probably the most outstanding song on this record. “Banker’s Delight (Dead Or Alive)” hits the same vein and is driven by aggressive disharmonic riffs and a few more floating and melodic bridges in between. Along with the catchy rocker “Don’t Listen To The Radio (TWOTW 1938)” with its interesting lyrics these two songs are the other two tracks that really stand out on this release.
The rest of the record is surprisingly mellow between some more or less hard rock inspired songs like “Will We Ever Change” that has some parts reminding me of Alice Cooper and several atmospheric mid-paced alternative rock sounds like “Blind” that reminds me of recent half-hearted Helloween ballads that would rather fit on a 30 Seconds to Mars output.
After a good start, the album gets rather boring in the second half. The songs remain superficial and are almost all hold in a sleepy mid tempo pace. They can’t really touch me from an emotional point of view or surprise me from the technical side. Many tracks are also too long against their own good. In most songs, everything is said after three minutes or even less but the tracks are stretched to lengths between four and more than six minutes. This is a problem which many metal bands seem to share. The closing acoustic track “I Sing Myself Away” is even completely useless in only two minutes and a half.
In the end, this record is rather lifeless and of an average quality at best. Only faithful Andi Deris fans should give this release a try but this definitely isn’t his finest hour. Power metal fans won’t probably like this more rock driven record and should stay away from this. It seems that Andi Deris already used his best song ideas on the last Helloween records and this is only a filler release of unconvincing material between two albums of Germany’s power metal legends. If Andi Deris waited another fourteen years to release his next solo record, nobody would really care about it and the material can only get better.