Sascha Paeth pulls the strings on excellent Wirepushers

The Wirepushers.
The Wirepushers.

Review by Graham Chalmers

The Wirepushers: Electric Puppetry (album)

When he’s not producing some of Europe’s finest heavy metal bands, the multi-talented Sascha Paeth likes to let his hair down with musical friends in The Wirepushers.

What started as a bit of fun for the German guitar wizard, bassist Arne Wiegand, drummer Robert Hunecke and Harrogate vocalist Paul Kettley (the only Brit in the band) has now turned serious with a debut album which showcases Paeth’s non-metal side.

Sparking with energy from the start, Electric Puppetry is not as punk as Guns n Roses infamous Spahgetti Incident album - it’s got far too much melody and variety for that.

Instead, what this ultra-tight pan-European foursome serve up is the following:

Punk-pop: Minimal, the first single Finest Girl and the title track, Electric Puppetry.

Britpop: Don’t Disturb My Circles and Natural Born Idiot.

Funk-rock-sub-Hendrix blues: The Escapader, All is Good and Sympathy.

Throw in a cracking cover of The Small Faces’ classic Tin Soldier and a couple of pieces of sheer silliness - the spoken word throwaway number Is There Another Word For It and closing track Stopgap Rap with its satirical rapping followed by a 13-minute guitar solo - and that’s about it.

It’s all a million miles away from Paeth’s most best-known previous group - ambitious German metal band Avantasia - but the big surprise is how well it all works, partly because of a constant supply of irresistibly catchy hooklines from the German genius.

Of course, you can’t take the rock out of the rockers and there’s no danger of The Wirepushers turning into Green Day or Blur. Not when you’ve got deep aggressive basslines (courtesy mostly of Simon Oberender in the studio), dagger sharp classic lead guitar solos (courtesy of Paeth himself) and powerhouse vocals (courtesy of Kettley).

Fun but brilliant.