Review: Hotwire – The Story So Far 1993-2023

Review: Hotwire – The Story So Far 1993-2023

Yellow Muffin Records (April 28th, 2023)

Reviewer: Chris O’Connor

Prepare to be blown away by the long-awaited return of the underground Bavarian Melodic Rock heroes Hotwire! After a seventeen-year hiatus, this near-legendary band is back with a ‘bang’, and they have lost none of their magic. Their Melodic Rock sound had made them something of an institution in the local scene in the 1990’s, gaining them a solid fan base in Melodic Rock circles. This was in part due to numerous shows and tours, with some of the biggest European names in the genre, such as Jaded Heart, Crystal Ball, and Bonfire.

In 1995, Bonfire members Hans Ziller and Claus Lessmann took the band under their wing, and produced the self-titled debut album, which was followed in 1998 by the sophomore ‘Face The Day’ album. Following the release of the album, the band toured extensively with Shakra, Domain, and then a while later – Pretty Maids.

In 2001, and during the actual recording of their ‘Middle Of Nowhere’ EP, the band parted ways with frontman Michael Werner, and replaced him with Andy Urbeck. With Andy fronting the band, they produced their 2006 third and final album ‘Devil In Disguise’, which was produced by ex-Bonfore man Chris Lausmann. Unfortunately, before they could even tour in support of the album, the band fractured and split up completely.

Just this year, original members Michael Werner (vocals) and Tom Glas (drums) have reconvened the band. Joining the new line-up are guitarists Hans Heid and Daniel Gumo Reiss, and bass guitarist Alexander Schott. Now they have released a ‘Best Of’ album, which also features twelve songs, including a brand-new song called ‘Slam!’. The classic Hotwire songs have been remastered, and they actually do sound genuinely fresh and pristine.

How songs like ‘Sometimes She Cries’, ‘Lovin’ Kind’ and ‘Waiting For A Sign’ were not originally huge hits is a mystery, as they easily rival power ballads by much bigger and more successful bands. I guess sometimes fate really is a cruel mistress. If the new song ‘Slam!’ is anything to go by, then we should all be very excited by the return of the Bavarians, as it’s a kick-ass anthem with a big riff and a bigger chorus. Maybe second time around will see the band making deservedly bigger waves? Here’s hoping.

It is now the band’s intention to make themselves bigger and better than ever, and to prove they have what it takes to stay. If you are a fan of Bonfire, Mad Max, Hardline, Pretty Maids etc, then you really do need to be checking out Hotwire, as their polished yet punchy sound should be right up your street.