KICKHUNTER – Now Or Never (2023)

KICKHUNTER - Now Or Never (2023) - full

After a nine years hiatus, KICKHUNTER are ready to deliver some kick-ass Rock’n Roll again. Founded back in 2000 by guitarist Stefan Aurel and drummer Karsten Kreppert, the in Hamburg, Germany-based outfit released four albums so far. They toured Europe with their debut album Hearts & Bones in 2003 with Deep Purple and Lynyrd Skynyrd and gained a lot of new followers. The internationally high-acclaimed follower Little Monsters came out in 2007. Kickhunter released their third CD All In summer 2010. In 2013, just before they released their fourth album Southern Kicks, they supported US Southern Rock legends Molly Hatchet on their tour in Germany.
Now KICKHUNTER are back with their 5th album ”Now Or Never”, mixed and mastered by Eike Freese (Deep Purple) and the always capable Dennis Ward. The album also includes a guest performance by non-other than founding member and Helloween bass player Markus Grokopf.

Markus, who is very limited in time due to his commitment to Helloween, unfortunately, had to part ways with the touring lineup of Kickhunter. The five remaining original members were able to win Tim Schwarz (Xandria, Hardbone) as their new bassist. There is also a new addition with guitarist Gerd Lehmkuhl which completes the triple axe attack.
If you are ready for true handmade classic hard rock music with dirty riffs, powerful Hammond sounds and groovy drums, then you are ready for Kickhunter.

A glance at the track listing and the missing years seem to melt away, ’Louder & Faster’ is a crowd-ready rocker; ‘King of Rock ’n’ Roll’ is a slower, bluesier rock (with aforementioned Markus on bass and special mention to Melanie Kirschke who adds some class backing vocals throughout), ‘Motherlode’ is a brilliant southern tinged rocker with glorious Hammond sounds adding to the party.
Then there is ‘Back and Free’ which starts with a Sweet style drum intro to a slightly glam-tinged slice of proper rock.

If you find yourself in need of a ballad, then the piano-led beauty of ‘I Sing This Song Forever’ provides all of the lighter waving potentials you could wish for. My current favourites, however, have to be the (early) Whitenake tinged, mid-paced bluesy rock of ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind,’ and the good-time boogie (and brilliant guitar solos) of ‘I Want It’.
So, after that run down, if you like the sound of a band with three guitarists(!) classic vocals and Hammond runs that blend the sounds of Purple, Skynyrd, Whitesnake and Sweet, then look no further as Kickhunter manage to bring originality to that considerable background and even insert a Germanic metal edge to it all.
Highly Recommended


1. Louder & Faster
2. Motherlode
3. I Want It
4. Back & Free
5. I Sing This Song Forever
6. This Summer
7. King Of Rock ‘N Roll
8.Can’t Get You Out Of My Mind
9. Nothing To Lose
10. Best Time

JC Wesenberg (vocals)
Stefan Aurel (guitar)
Rollie Feldman (guitar)
Gerd Lehmkuhl (guitar)
Tim Schwarz (bass)
Karsten Kreppert (drums)
Ansas Strehlow (Hammond)
Melanie Kirschke (backing vocals)


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