Running Wild – “Under Jolly Roger” (1987)

Running Wild!  Under Jolly Roger (Noise Records) was the album that kicked off Running Wild’s trademark “pirate metal” image.  The album’s title track tells a tale of pirates plundering and marauding all over the god-damn place.  With sound effects like cannons firing and swords clashing, Running Wild brought the fantasy to life with enthusiasm.  It really shouldn’t come as much of a surprise that pirate lore and heavy metal went together so well.  Heavy metal has always been a perfect medium for tales of evil-doing and malfeasance.  Pirates fit right in.  Anyway… Under Jolly Roger is an outstanding track!  Rolf Kasparek’s gruff vocals suit the song well.  Dude sounds like a pirate!

The Under Jolly Roger album is a pretty nice blend of old-school German metal (commonly associated with Accept) and the melodic speed metal of Walls Of Jericho-era Helloween.  The recording is a bit rough around the edges.  You may not be able to decipher every single note played, but all in all the recording passes as serviceable for 1987.  I mentioned the great track Under Jolly Roger.  Another real standout is Raise Your Fist.  This song rocks!  And it is catchy a hell.  A real jewel in Running Wild’s treasure chest.  Diamond Of The Black Chest also gets my mojo going.  There’s a couple of bum tracks, too.  Land Of Ice and Raw Ride do nothing for me.  But nevertheless, Running Wild found a nice little niche with Under Jolly Roger.  The pirate thing was a cool idea, and they’ve been doing it ever since.  Chips Ahoy!  My score: B


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