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LABEL: Sheffield Tunes RELEASE DATE: April 5, 2019 GENRE: Progressive Dance
// review by SoyBomb

Generally hardcore.

They've been going for over 25 years, and despite a number of band member changes, the Hamburger trio is apparently still in it for the long haul. After the departure of Phil Speiser in October 2018, it appears a new face has settled well into the mix: Sebastian Schilde, a German producer also known as "Nacho". Yep, sounds downright delicious. Together, they form the sixth chapter in the band's history, and the first single from this new combination has emerged: "Rave Teacher (Someone Like Me)".

The artist is listed as "Scooter & Xillions" because the main chorus comes from the Xillions song "Somebody Like Me", though they had no other direct involvement in the single's production. So how does the track stand up? Let's take a look.

We get two flavours of Rave Teacher. First up is the Radio Edit to give us the basic idea. With muffled piano, the Scooter-standard high-pitched vocals sing the chorus before frontman H.P. Baxxter's trademark shouts begin (he's still on point and hasn't lost his rhythmic edge yet) and the powerful synth-driven instrumentals enter the fray. They're fairly enjoyable, though the bassline is incredibly weak for a band that touts itself as "hardcore" all the time, and the kick is also a bit too subdued, though it still performs its basic function. It's nice to hear some piano work in the background, though; that's something from Scooter's heyday that should make a grander return. All in all, the song is pleasant enough to listen to, but there's something missing that's hard to put my finger on. Perhaps there's an overdependence on the Xillions refrain, because I honestly would rather hear the instrumentals. The high-pitched voice also isn't that great, either; surprisingly, it's a bit too LOW!

We also get an Extended Mix that is, incredibly enough, more than just the radio edit with extra beats before and after. Okay, it IS mostly that, but it's at the 3:36 mark that we get some variation, where Scooter takes the main synth melody and slices it up, taking the song in a different and more powerful direction. That's what we need more of, and it's surprisingly absent from the edited version. This would've given it a little extra zip, but at least it's available at all.

After some of the rougher output of the past five years, Rave Teacher is a breath of fresh air and a strong hint of the direction the group will be taking next. But in comparison to what Scooter has been capable of over the past quarter century, it won't be remembered in the same vein as some of their greatest hits. It feels like they were holding back on this single. Hopefully their future output delivers more on their overall credo: always hardcore!

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