CRASHDÏET – Generation Wild

crashdiet-generationwildThird album, third singer. Crashdïet haven’t had the best of luck with their singers, with original singer Dave Lepard (David Hellman) committing suicide just when they had gathered some well-deserved recognition after their critically acclaimed debut album Rest In Sleaze (2005) and Olliver Twisted leaving after just one album, the very underrated follow-up The Unattractive Revolution (2007) to go back to his native Finland and his own band Reckless Love. But to give up a career that just keep moving forward after each album were never an option for the rest of the boys. After months of speculation the Diet settled with Simon Cruz, a local name and known only to people with insight in the Swedish glam / sleaze scene. Apparently Cruz was on their wish list as Lepard’s replacement but the time just wasn’t right at that point. However, when the finished product was out on sale it was clear that Martin Sweet (guitars), Peter London (bass) and Eric Young (drums) had made the right decision. While Cruz not may be no Pavarotti by any means, he certainly have the right voice for a band like the Diet and visually he fits this outfit like a glove. Musically then? Well, not to put a spoiler on this review, but after the first listen there is no doubt that they have made their strongest album to date. Where the last CD had killer stuff like ”In The Raw”, “Die Another Day” and ”Falling Rain”, total hits in my book, this one really haven’t, but on the other hand there’s a lot of catchy stuff to get us going. Plus the fact that the last album did have some down time, fillers if you will but on this one there are no bad songs and every song has a live feel which makes this album more complete.

The album opens with the intro “442” and it is what an intro usually is, something to pave way for the real opener and it works for that purpose, but it is really quite forgettable. No, the real opener ”Armageddon” is a killer where they have nicked the riff to Vinnie Vincent’s ”Boyz Are Gonna Rock” and / or Kiss’ ”Exciter” (same riff basically), but that don’t matter much. The tune still have a life of its own and is really catchy in a glam metal way, a great way to start this record. “So Alive” have a really great chorus that sticks right on the spot, but the verses passes by a bit unnoticed. The brilliant title track that follows has the riff of Ratt’s ”Round And Round” in the verses and Kiss’ ”Thrills In The Night”  chorus copied. Not original at all, but who cares, originality is overrated and everybody steals a bit here and there and Crashdiet are brilliant thieves. Done as good as this, it gets my thumbs up all the way. “Rebel” has a bit of a punk feel, the way that Mötley Crüe were punks on their debut album Too Fast For Love (1981). The song is an ass-kicker, but I’m afraid I’m just not a punk dude. However, ”Save Her” gets the band right back on track with a heavy and dark vibe and a chorus that really runs down pop lane. Could work as a single in the future. “Down In The Dust” sounds like it was written around the last CD, it has groove and attitude and a really good melody – a winner in my book. “Native Nature” is a complete Skid Row rip-off and I’m not sure if I’m comfortable with that. I mean, If I wanna listen to “Monkey Business” then I’ll listen to “Monkey Business” and not its half-sister. The song isn’t bad at all, but lacks identity. But what comes next makes every rip-off forgiven – it’s called ”Chemical” and it might just be the best song they have ever written, with a melody so catchy if you hear it once it’ll never leave your brain. I will take it even further and say that “Chemical” is one of the best hard rock numbers from any Swedish band period! ”Bound To Fall” is another killer that should go down really well live. It mixes heavy guitars with a sleazy attitude and a really memorable melody – great. ”Beautiful Pain”, an amazing ballad closes the CD in a glorious way. The tune isn’t cheesy one bit even tough it sure comes from power ballad territory. It’s way darker and heavier than any “Every Rose Has Its Thorn” out there.

The only negative thing I can think of here is the production. It’s not bad, but sounds a bit sterile and compact and some of the backing vocals sounds almost sampled at times and the sound scape would have benefited from being a bit more raw and big at the same time. I’m a bit puzzled that they didn’t consider using the production team of Chris Laney / Anders Ringman, who did such a good job on the band’s debut. I’m sure they could have lifted this record even further. Other than that, no complaints. Best Diet CD so far and Cruz is their finest singer to date. Twisted might have a broader range, but Cruz is the best frontman this lot have ever had. The band have been labeled as a glam rock band, but I don’t really think that’s fair – these guys are as far from bands such as Poison and Pretty Boy Floyd as it gets. See, Crashdïet have a much darker edge better compared to Mötley Crüe’s darkest days – this band isn’t about pink lipstick and golden jackets at all. Let’s hope we’ve seen the last of their singer issues and let’s hope for lots more classy music. If they play their cards right, Crashdïet will surely have a bright future.

8/10

Tracklist:

1. 442
2. Armageddon
3. So Alive
4. Generation Wild
5. Rebel
6. Save Her
7. Down With The Dust
8. Native Nature
9. Chemical
10. Bound To Fall
11. Beautiful Pain

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