Mennen - Mennen

Year of Release: 2003
Label: Snakebite Records
Catalog Number: SNB003
Format: CD
Total Time: 79:28:00

The history of Mennen begins in 1987, when the Dutch happy metal band Zinatra is formed, with singer Joss Mennen. This band is quite successful in those days, as they get a record deal right away and play with David Lee Roth, right after the release of their debut album, and play in China, Thailand and South America. But as they don't play live much in Holland and the rest of Europe, the interest in the band slowly drops. In 1990 Robby Valentine joins the band, but when the record company ends the contract, the story of Zinatra ends in 1992. This year marks also the start of Joss Mennen's solo career, with his own band, Mennen. Their self-titled debut album is released in 1994, produced by Wolfgang G. Stach (Guano Apes) and contained 10 songs. In the past 10 years, Mennen stayed active and released another three albums. But the past years it has been a bit quiet. Now their debut album is re-released, with 4 bonus tracks and they are working on a new studio album, to be released in 2004.

So, what is there to say about the debut album of Mennen? Enough, as it is a very good album that still sounds fresh, despite its age. The sound is comparable to Helloïse, Vengeance and I picked up hints of Queensrÿche and Savatage in the songs, and at times Joss Mennen sounds a bit like Stan Verbaak (Helloïse, Highway Chile). The line up consists of P.P. and Eric Van De Kerkhof on guitars, Frenk Aendenroomer on bass and Fonny Janssen on drums, and of these only Joss, Eric and Fonny are a part of Mennen.

I can only suggest you buy this album and listen to it yourselves as there is no point for me to discuss every track on the album, as they all have the following in common: solid drums and bass, powerful guitars and amazing vocals. It could easily be described as kick ass hard rock, and maybe it is just that, but f***ing good hard rock, never boring, always powerful and dominating. The backing vocals by Eric, Fonny and Frenk add the catchy parts to the songs. "Outsiders Of The Storm" is a song in the vein of Vengeance's "Power Of The Rock," dark and heavy, and "Movin' On" has a scream a la Savatage. There are no ballads on the album, which surprised me a bit. Well, that is not entirely true ... "House For Sale" could be called a ballad. This song, originally by Margriet Eshuys (a Dutch pop icon), which is a classic song, is song absolutely fantastic by Joss Mennen, it gave me a chill down my spine! Wow! Also the guitars in this song are razor sharp and bring some excellent solos. The bonus tracks are two demo versions of songs originally on the album, one other demo and one Japanese bonus track.

I can't say no more about this album, you just have to listen to it. Once you hear it, you're hooked! I can't wait for the new album to be released and to hear how Mennen sounds now, 10 years later. But despite the fact this album is 10 years old, it still stands as a house and is plainly a fantastic album.

Similar Bands: Helloïse, Vengeance

First released in 1994 by Noise/T&T

[This review originally appeared December 2003 at the ProgPower Online review site -ed.]

Power On (4:46) / Hot Summer Nights (3:19) / Killerdog (4;34) / Outsiders Of The Storm (6:43) / Movin' On (3:53) / World Affair (7:29) / House For Sale (5:28) / Never Be The Same (6;55) / Remember The Days (4:54) / Rock And Roll Over (9:20) / Lost* / The One Ring* / World Affair* / House For Sale*

*bonus tracks on re-issue

Frenk Aenenroomer - bass, backing vocals
Fonny Janssen - drums, backing vocals
Joss Mennen - vocals
P.P. - guitars
Eric Van De Kerkhof - guitars, backing vocals

Mennen (1994/2003)
Back To The Real World (1996)
Age Of Fools (1998)
Circle Of Live (2000)
Freakazoid (2005)
Freakalive (2006)
Planet Black (2008)

Genre: Progressive-Power Metal

Origin NL

Added: January 7th 2005
Reviewer: Marcel Haster
Artist website:
Hits: 646
Language: english


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