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Metal/Prog Metal CD Reviews

Nikki Puppet

Puppet On A String

Review by Greg Olma

This album is a tough one to categorize. It is definitely the square peg trying to fit in the round hole. At times, it is trying to be rock/metal, other times; it has a total punk vibe. It seems the band can’t decide which it really wants to be. And why should they? This German group can play with the best of ‘em. I like Nicky Gronewold’s voice. She has a good range but it has a little of that punk sneer that gives it a bit of a unique quality. Christos Mamalitsidis does a great job of playing for the tunes not over them. His guitar playing is not a full-on shred fest but more melodic and his solos fit the songs perfectly. Rounding things off is a solid rhythm section of Anke Sobek on bass and Florentin Adolf on drums. Nikki Puppet won’t change the world but then again, what band in the last 10 years has? This is a fun record and I would recommend it be played at all backyard barbeques this summer.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2007 Volume 2 at

Track by Track Review
Puppet On A String
The title track is a punky rocker with a really catchy chorus. Nicky Gronewold has a good voice for this kind of music. It has the range to make it rock yet keep things very melodic.
This is another punk rock type of song. The drumming and feel has an old school punk sound. The chorus has that catchy staccato style of singing that makes it infectious.
Nicky Gronewold’s vocals during the verses are very punk but as the song progresses, she rocks out more. This is one of the better cuts on the album.
I Feel Unreal
Some weird effects are added to Gronewold’s vocals to the verses. It’s more of a straight ahead rocker but I don’t think there is anything special about it. I will give Christos Mamalitsidis some extra points for adding a really nice old school guitar solo. Too bad the track is not as good as his solo.
Grumpy Face
Now this is more like it. “Grumpy Face” is a ballad but it has a really great feel. The only issue I have is the title but everything else is spot on so that can be overlooked.
Another World
This is one of the better cuts on the record. It has some new metal parts but it some 80’s metal in there as well. I can picture this being a great live cut.
If I had to make comparisons, I would have to say that this number has a Girlschool type of sound. The whole track is not like that but a good portion of the song is a fast paced rocker.
I could picture the Scorpions doing this piece. The whole band puts in a good performance and Nicky sings it just like Klaus Meine. Even though it is a basic rock/metal tune and does not have anything unique about it, it is up there with the best songs on the CD.
Stand Here This Way
The riffing is older Black Sabbath all the way. The chorus lightens up what would ultimately be the heaviest track on the album. This is another winner on an already strong record.
The beginning and verses sound a lot like Pat Benatar. The rest of the cut is more of a Nicky Puppet straight ahead rocker. They finish the record on a high note and it just makes you want to listen to the whole thing again.
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