Thirty odd years ago Fargo, led by bassist Peter Knorn made significant ripples in 80s rock scene and then seemingly faded away – Knorn went on to manage some luminaries in rock including Glenn Hughes apparently. Fast-forward to the present day and Fargo are reborn, still with Knorn at the helm, along with Arndt Schulz (Guitars), Nikolas Fritz (Drums) and Peter Ladwig (Vocals / Guitars). Frank Tolle turns up as a guest drummer on a couple of tracks.
Their latest album, Constellation, is as if they had never been away: think Scorpions in the late 80s, mixed with a bit of country and some reggae thrown in too. It opens with ‘Step Back’, a slide driven rocker that is innocuous enough but doesn’t make Fargo stand out from the Euro-rock crowd. ‘Mind Your Business‘ employs the typical Moody/Marsden era Whitesnake R&B template and chucks in a decent guitar solo. ‘Loser’s Blues’, a lively country-rock number which suggests a Quo inspiration. ‘Goddess of Destiny’ is an attempt at the kind of rock/reggae blend that the Scorpions attempted (& failed at) in the ‘90s. ‘Cross to Bear’ takes the Scorps as inspiration again, this time that whistling song, minus the whistling. ‘Southern Breeze’ has lyrics almost entirely made up of Elvis Presley titles. ‘Boozie Vivienne‘ is the best one: a well constructed riff and an inspired solo. (Vivienne rhymes with oblivion). ‘Closer Good Night’ is the first acoustic and is an agreeable ballad, but may have been better placed elsewhere in the running order.
This is not a bad album, but there is just something lacking to make it rise above the rest. The instrumentation is strong, vocally, it could be stronger but I cannot help frequent winces at the lyrics. OK, I couldn’t write in German at all, but a song about a fly with “buzz, buzz, buzz is what flies do” as the chorus is slightly more unsettling than Lenny Wolff’s songs about pigeons and three legged sheep (yes, really!). Ignore these cringe worthy moments and there are plenty of redeeming qualities with some great solos sprinkled across the album.