In what is turning out to be a massive month or two for lovers of all things glam and sleaze, Swedish natives Crashdiet, against the odds, return with arguably their most complete album yet. Following the loss of original singer Dave Lepard in 2005 to suicide, the band returned in 2007 with newly appointed singer Oliver Twisted and delivered the more experimental and darker ‘The Unattractive Revolution’. The union with Oliver didn’t last and he headed back to the ranks of ‘Reckless Love’. Faced with the prospect of finding another singer, in a twist of fate, the band ended up with former ‘Jailbait‘ singer Simon Cruz who was originally in the band’s sights after the passing of Lepard.
Setting the scene for what’s to come with Crashdiet circa 2010, the razor sharp riffs and pounding rhythm section on opening track ‘Armageddon’ are perfectly complimented by new vocalist Cruz, (who I shall refer to more later in the review). A return to the band’s sleaze rock roots the opening track certainly hints at, and the following track ‘So Alive’ certainly confirms this. A Motley Crue like riff kicks off the track, but then it’s the band’s new singer Simon Cruz to properly introduce himself with almost banshee like wailing before he rip’s through the opening lines “it’s midnight out for blood, let’s make a big toast to world domination, no rat’s out to fed”...when a song has lyrics such as this, you certainly need a vocalist to convey the rawness and Cruz certainly does! For fans of a pre-chorus, the one in this song is monstrous, as the gang like vocals of the chorus.
Lead single ‘Generation Wild’ is a killer bombastic anthem that had me hook, line and sinker from the opening guitar riff courtesy of Martin Sweet. This is one of the best HARD ROCK songs I have heard in all of the 2000’s....I don’t need to say anymore! 20 years ago ‘Youth Gone Wild’’ was the anthem of rebellion and now we have the sequel. Speaking of killer, be sure to check out the film clip to this song below...it’s so killer it has even been banned by MTV Sweden! ‘Rebel’ shifts up a higher gear and is frenetic and raw and the gang shouting vocals in the chorus has an old school metal kinda vibe along the lines of Judas Priest, WASP and early Crue.
Whilst musically ‘Save Her’ displays a more melodic side to the band, lyrically it is one of the albums darker tracks, “sweet lips around a loaded gun, pulls the trigger and the bullet won”. One of my favourite tracks on the album, it also displays a more “polished” production sound that is throughout the album. In stark contrast to ‘Save Her’, ‘Down With The Dust’,musically is the probably the heaviest on the album. A great track to showcase how the band have evolved musically, with some pretty cool guitar riffs and a blistering guitar solo.
‘Native Nature’ is Crashdiet at it’s sleaziest, a track that will no doubt be popular in the live set and is another where Cruz can spit and snarl till his hearts content! ‘Chemical’ on the other hand is a song that will probably be a grower for many people, but you will be addicted once it gets a hold of you, pardon the pun! If the song doesn’t grab you upon first listen, then be sure to stick it out until at least the 2.05 minute mark.....then it kicks in!!
‘Bound To Fall’ is a little more restrained in all accounts, but don’t get me wrong, it is still a hard rocking song! As with a few other tracks on this album, it displays where Crashdiet are at in 2010, a band who has now progressed and has more than just straight out sleaze rock in it’s arsenal. Which perfectly leads into the almost epic closing track ‘Beautiful Pain’, a fitting way to close the album. Whilst the chorus is simplistic featuring just repetition of the words ‘beautiful pain’, the rest of the track is anything but simplistic, with some intricate arrangements and an almost majestic like quality.
In a time when sleaze/glam/hard rock is as popular as it ever has been in recent years and with an image and attitude to match the quality of this release, ‘Generation Wild’ well and truly propels Crashdiet back as the leaders of not only the sleaze rock genre, but as one of the more exciting hard rock bands on the planet.