Swedish sleaze rockers Crashdiet had their ups and downs during the early 2000's. Infighting and the suicide of frontman Dave Lepard, then a short-lived stunt with Olliver Twisted, and finally in early 2010 the band announced that Simon Cruz would be taking over the helm. Three lead vocalists in as many years is enough to cause a lot of bands to fall apart, but the "Generation Wild" album proves that this won’t be happening to Crashdiet any time soon.
It may have a bumpy start with the opener "442," but it doesn't take long for Crashdiet to move back into the comfort zone of flashy glam rock. The title track is an upbeat, old school anthem complete with gang vocals and an almost poppy feel. The guitar intro is a bit awkward, but the song is so infectious it's easy to ignore.
Of course like any glam act, there has to be one ballad on the album. "Save Her" fills this requirement without delving too far into the melodrama. There is an awful big similarity in the guitar riff in this song and Alice Cooper's 80's ballad "Poison," and truthfully the songs are a bit similar. Cruz's vocals aren't as gruff as Cooper's, but this is by no means a Skid Row style ballad, even though Crashdiet has been known to compare itself to the "18 and Life" band.
"Chemical" is another track that reminds me of Alice Cooper rock. It's a quasi-ballad, but with a definite 80's glam flair. This song is followed up by two really great melodic rock tunes, "Bound to Fall" and "Beautiful Pain." This closing track opens with a nice little guitar intro, but the band manages to pick up the speed in the breakdown with some nice shreds. "Beautiful People" is a good closing to an album that is mostly fun with only a few flaws.
For those who are established Crashdiet fans, "Generation Wild" is a good choice. They should appreciate the similarity in style between Lepard and Cruz, even down to the big blonde hair. For those who haven't tried Crashdiet before, but were fans of slightly heavier glam acts like Alice Cooper, "Generation Wild" is worth checking out.
Highs: The final three tracks are all solid melodic hard rock tunes with the glam flavor Crashdiet fans expect.
Lows: The opening track "442" sounds like the coming of the apocalypse and is a waste of valuable time.
Bottom line: "Generation Wild" may not be the best Crashdiet release, but it's a good debut for new vocalist Simon Cruz, and offers a fresh slice of the sleaze rock that the fans expect.