CASABLANCA – Apocalyptic Youth

Casablanca - Apocalyptic JuiceAnother supergroup, this time a Swedish one. Well, to be honest, there’s one American guy here, guitarist Ryan Roxie, mostly known for his work with Alice Cooper, but also in his own band Roxie 77. On the other hand, he lives in Sweden and has done so for many, many years. Joining him are singer Anders Ljung (Space Age Playboys), guitarist Erik Stenemo (Melody Club), drummer Josephine Forsman (Sahara Hotnights) and odd man out, bass player Mats Rubarth who is known for being a top football player (soccer, if you’re American) in the local Stockholm club AIK.

Ok, to call them a supergroup might be stretching it just a bit, but at least Melody Club and Sahara Hotnights are pretty big names in Sweden if you’re into rock. What it does add up is a damn fine rock band that has released one of the best hard rock albums of 2012. But know this, this is not heavy metal, this is rock ’n’ roll, played a bit rough with catchy choruses and lots of pop influences. And they do this very well. As musicians, these guys (and girl) are not virtuosos by any means, but that’s not to say they can’t play. They can and they do it well. Forsman is a true groover that brings life into any song, Ljung is certainly no Pavarotti, but who wants that? He has great voice though that suits this kind of music very well, Stenemo and Roxie complement each other great, with Stenemo’s poppiness and Roxie’s raunchiness, and who knew that a former footballer could handle a bass this well?

Back to the songs then. The title track is a killer rocker and a great opener, ”Deliberately Wasted” is a hard rocker that will go down great live, first single ”Downtown” is catchy as hell and deserved to be a big hit – A shame it wasn’t. Hopefully it will work better with single #2, ”Love And Desperation”, because that one is even better and the hit from Hell in its poppy, glammy rock ’n’ roll glory. ”Rich Girl” is a catchy pop-rocker and
”Beast Of Summer” is killer pop track with a big hit feel. It should be single # 3. It’s not easy to find a bad track here although ”The
Juggler” comes close. A song I’m not too sure of. It sounds like one of those popular, but oh so dull pop songs of the 80’s.

All in all, Casablanca has made a brilliant album with a slick, but raunchy production. The mix of hardrock, glam, rock ’n’ roll and pop makes
sure it never gets boring. This could very well be the soundtrack to your next big party.

Jon Wilmenius (9/10)

Track Listing:
1. Apocalyptic Youth
2. Deliberately Wasted
3. Downtown
4. The Juggler
5. Rich Girl
6. Love and Desperation
7. Secret Agents of Lust
8. Beast of Summer
9. Last of the Rockstars
10. A Lifetime on the Run

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