BEOWÜLF - Westminster 500 E Av

Beowülf - Westminster 500 E Av

16 songs
56:17 minutes
***** **
I Scream


Cult bands are bands that somehow never really made it because either the audience wasn’t ready for their art yet, or because they were always just a fraction of time too late with their music, coming when the competition had already won. Beowülf from Venice, California started already in the early Eighties, but somehow always were hidden in the shadow of the mightier Suicidal Tendencies. Releasing music only sporadically, the band around Dale Henderson never had the chance to keep people’s attention for very long. Therefore it’s rather astonishing that we now get a new release, twelve years after their last album.

Although Henderson is the only original member left, two other musicians were already part of Beowülf in the Nineties. Henderson looks old, carries his scars with pride and still rocks as if the last twenty years never happened. Westminster 500 E Av is certainly no classic, but as an autobiographical treatise on the life and times of an ageing punk rocker, it certainly has its merits. Singing about life on the streets, his experiences with alcohol and ensuing brawls, NASCAR racing and especially his growing love for the Lord Almighty, Henderson is the stereotype of the American male as perceived by the secular European. Not knowing if I should feel sorry for all the misery he’s been through, or if I should pay respect to such a sincere look back at his own life, I decide that Westminster 500 E Av is an album that finally pays off with a load of good songs, long running time and a crossovering sound that owes as much to California punk of the Eighties as to Motörhead anno 1983 when Brian Robertson was playing the guitar. At times, there is too much preaching on this CD, but as a comeback album, it could have been much worse.

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