A chance listen to "Queen Obscene/69 Shots" on the way home from the Sweden Rock Festival 2006 was enough for me to make a mental note to get this album as soon as I got home (Thanks Borg!). It arrived a week later and I was quickly addicted to CrashDïet. The music is bursting with positive energy and back then, I had to listen to the album several times a day. It was an addiction that went on for months. 6 years down the road the album maintains its core and feels timeless.
What is so special about this one? One, lead singer Dave Lepard (R.I.P.!) is totally amazing. Two, the music is as catchy as anything I have heard before. Three, the songwriting is inventive, resulting in a motley crew of songs that never bore. Four, there is a very real and powerful vibe to the album; the attitude of the whole album is in-your-face and doesn't hold anything back. Overall the music is hard rocking with strong guitar work and a mean rhythm section. Add to that Dave Lepard's aggressive vocal style and you have a fiery intensity all around. You never quite know what to expect next.
The short playing time (35 minutes) makes the album perfect for a quick digestion as well as that one more listen. Every single song has something to offer, but some are better than others. To start from the bottom up...
Needle in your eye is built on a good basic groove and has some interesting guitar and bass details. The song opens strong but looses a little edge on its uninteresting chorus. The way the guitar work adds to the tension is great but in the end I find it lacking compared to the other songs.
The high-powered Knokk 'em Down has the balls needed to open an album like this, with a forceful drive and an intense lead performance by Dave, finely mixed with a barrage of energized backing vocals. Tikket is a high speed killer about life in the fast lane. Excellent guitar work, especially in the second verse it adds extra drive and Dave's power vocals keep the song charged with energy.
Back on trakk has a wonderful "wind in your hair" feel to it. It also brings a fitting "live in the now" conclusion to the album. Mainly because of the atmosphere I was reminded of the finishing song on Enuff Z'nuff's self titled debut, “Finger on the trigger”. This debut shows the same kind of potential of a band that could develop into something mindblowing.
The action packed Straight out of hell has a metallic bite that doesn't let go before the song has ended. A strong drive and great tension keeps the song together and the bridge section after the second verse is a clear highlight of the song.
Out of Line opens with a great riff and the echo effect in the verses works well. The song has a special ambience to it, exemplified by the chorus that gives off the feel of cruising along the highway on a dark night with a major adrenaline kick to the soul.
Breakin' the chainz has a wild driving groove as its center and a cool way of rising towards the chorus. The ending chorus is just one example of how Dave Lepard interacts with the background vocals in a sublime way all through the album.
The rebellious Riot in everyone is another highly charged action packed feature that feels over way too soon. The verses build a strong foundation and the chorus lets it rip. Especially the entry to the final chorus part is powerful and demands some headbanging. The song ends on a powerful note and immediately I want to hear it again.
It's a miracle has been a personal favorite from the first listen. The chorus is so smooth it is indescribable. The way Dave bends the word "alone" in the chorus gives the song a charming and almost magical edge. The sexual undertones that run though the lyrics of many songs are also strong here and somehow they even manage to squeeze in an old English touch. The way the melody of the chorus is intensified slightly nearing the end of the song is a great touch as well. Back in 2006 the song built a house and settled down in a part of my brain. It is still there. Now, that is a miracle.
It's been a long time since I've heard a song as addictive as Queen Obscene/69 Shots. It's got a perfect pumping groove based on a mean riff and a monster rhythm section. The tension rises through the song and erupts in an unbelievably catchy chorus. Dave Lepard's vocals are highly impressive. I just love the way he makes the words roll of his tongue with little effort, but great effect. He embodies the song with a convincingly charming and self-confident attitude. The in-your-face approach is a winning formula and the band takes it to the limit here. "Sirens scream and lights are flashin', a burst of ragin' passion" was the line that immediately grabbed my attention. It adds that special ingredient to the melody that makes the song magical. The way Dave shouts "Queen Obscene!" at the end of each chorus adds a contradicting rawness to the melodic goodness.
I love the raw and powerful production. Unfortunately the album is mastered too loud and it results in some serious distortion that becomes apparent when listening loud enough.
The album is like a burning fever. The only way to hold it down is to listen to it over and over.
“Well," said Pooh, "what I like best," and then he had to stop and think.
Because although Eating Honey was a very good thing to do, there
was a moment just before you began to eat it which was better than
when you were, but he didn't know what it was called.”
― A.A. Milne, Winnie-the-Pooh...