One of Sweden’s additions to the oozing core of sleaze metal, Crashdïet have been through a lot in their time. The most recent stoppage in their tracks was the sudden departure of singer Simon Cruz in 2015, which led to the side project Sweet Creature during their search for a new fourth member to continue the Crashdïet sound.
By the dawn of 2018, new singer Gabriel Keyes had been integrated into the group, and the single “We Are The Legion” demonstrated that not only was Crashdïet not going away, they were planning to make a triumphant return. A few more singles later, they finally have a new album, their fifth in total and the fourth singer in their lineup changes.
So, the inevitable question: Does Rust shine through?
Musically speaking, it ROCKS.
The pre-existing trio of Martin Sweet, Peter London, and Eric Young have been crafting strong melodies throughout the band’s albums, and Rust is no exception. As a development, many songs feel like they’ve grown out naturally from earlier tracks. The chugging guitar riffs, throbbing basslines, and pounding drums that give Crashdïet their signature sound are all there in new but familiar-feeling configurations, like adding a fresh set of patches on a well-worn battle vest.
As a vocalist, Gabriel Keyes blends the roughness from Simon Cruz’s vocals with the brighter timbre of their first singer, Dave Lepard (RIP). It’s a very natural fit for the band, which showcases both the development they’ve had over the albums and singers while still keeping true to the sound they debuted with Rest in Sleaze.
“We Are The Legion” and “Reptile” debuted well before the album, with the former showing stronger than the latter. The song of misfits banding together literally comes together more than the somewhat disjointed lyrics of “Reptile” against a ripping, turbo-charged guitar line. “In The Maze” is a classic, angsty power ballad for a torn-apart heart, with a chorus ready for lifting lighters to…or, in this day and age, smartphone cameras.
“Idiots” and “Filth & Flowers” are nuanced rockers, dealing with complexity and fallibility. The former is more about trying to prove oneself in the face of naysayers, a song of defiance and ambition. The latter, a song about embracing one’s dualities and contradictions, is almost as if Walt Whitman’s “I contain multitudes” was translated into sleaze metal. (Your mileage may vary on that.)
“Into The Wild” is a surprisingly political number that calls out issues without being glib. One line in the chorus stood out for its inventive, attitude-fueled metaphor: “We’re living on a glass wrecking ball/ If we’re not gonna stop it we’ll hit the wall”. Given the current state of the world, it’s a spirited depiction of fragility and recklessness.
“Parasite” is a swaggering “I won’t take your shit any more” song, showing finesse beyond its predecessors, “Lickin’ Dog” from The Savage Playground and “Psychopath” from the 2013 demo sessions.
In the same realm, the songs “Stop Weirding Me Out” and “Crazy” both falter in the storytelling aspects of the song. The beats and riffs are strong, but a few lyrical tweaks could take the songs from okay to excellent, and the “toxic relationship” concepts feel clichéd.
Some unexpected pop-rock influence comes through on the power ballad “Waiting For Your Love”, which in content and composition feels like a more nuanced take on “Save Her” from Generation Wild. Interestingly, the title tracks of both that album and Rust also share the same anthemic effect of announcing “this is us, and we’re gonna melt your faces”.
It’s not entirely strong lyrically, but musically it’s a very solid work. Crashdïet has returned from their extended hiatus, and in times like these, they not only “shine through the rust”, they have returned in full form, “breakin’ the chainz” and rocking as hard as they did back when they began.
“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...