CRUCIFIED BARBARA – In The Red

Crucified Barbara - In The Red“Good for a girl”. Speak those words to the faces of the members of Crucified Barbara and no matter your size, they will kick your ass. And rightfully so. Let’s just make one thing clear, music has nothing to do with your sex, it’s about how well you play and how good songs you write, nothing else. The epitome “girl-band” is stupid. Crucified Barbara and every other band that consists only of women are rock bands. Just rock bands. That’s the way they should be judged. The fact that these words even has to be said / written is just plain sad. So let’s just continue with this review about a hard rocking kick-ass rock band. Crucified Barbara formed in Stockholm, Sweden back in 1998 as a punky rock band but when they signed their recording contract in 2003 they had already changed their style to a more hard rock style, albeit a noisy and punky kind. The band – Mia Coldheart (lead vocals, guitar), Klara Force (guitar), Ida Evileye (bass) and Nicki Wicked (drums) (you just gotta love those stage names) – released their debut album, the aptly titled In Distortion We Trust in 2005 and created a buzz around Stockholm right away. The album was released world-wide, but I’m not sure how it did outside of Sweden. The follow up, Til Death Do Us Party (2009) was produced by Swedish singer Mats Levén (Swedish Erotica, Treat, Yngwie Malmsteen, Therion and now Candlemass), who gave them a less noisy and punky sound, but these girls could still rock with the best of them and 2012’s The Midnight Chase made sure they sure they were still in the public eye and a force to be reckoned with. I must admit, though, that I was never a fan of Crucified Barbara. Their brand of punky hard rock / metal has never been my music of choice. I can hear that they know what they’re all about and that they are very good at what they’re doing, but they were never for me, I’m afraid. So why bother with a review now, you might ask. Well, like so many other times with other bands that I’ve had a dislike (not that I had a dislike for this band) for, there was something about this album that got me interested. I read stuff about it and heard people talk about it and I just needed to run my claws into it. But I had no idea if it would come to my liking or not as I never heard a note from it before the first listen. So with no expectations and an open mind I plugged in my headphones and gave the thing a go.

So I push play and let “I Sell My Kids For Rock ‘n’ Roll” punch me out. It’s a really sweaty opener, fast, raw and punky. It’s not bad, but it’s not my kind of beer – sounds too ordinary for me. But they kick me right back into place with “To Kill A Man”, a really heavy thing and “Electric Sky” is a real killer that sounds like a one night stand between Hardcore Superstar and Crashdiet with a female voice on top – awesome! The title track is a ferocious ass-kicker, full of piss and vinegar – and then some. “Lunatic # 1” is a high energetic rocker full of perspiration and “Shadows” is a sleazy rocker with a darker 70’s vibe. They bring in some Led Zeppelin influences in the hard rocking “Finders Keepers”, we get some twin leads in the Thin Lizzy / Iron Maiden vein and an intense and groovy rhythm  in the brilliant “Do You Want Me” and they close the album with a bang with “Follow The Stream”, a high-octane jawbreaker that will convince the hardest doubter of this band that they can rock the living daylight out of anyone.

I must say that I am impressed. But to be honest, I’m not really sure of where the change lies here, what it is that they have done to better themselves so much. The sound might be a bit more polished and more accessable, but never in a mainstream or cheesy way. Maybe it’s just the fact that I find that they have bettered themselves in the song writing department. But what I do feel is that this time the arrangements are more varied and even though you can still find the raw, angry and punky vibes that has always been their trademark, the songs has been embellished with great some hooks and some cool and catchy arrangements in all its sleaziness. But the girls hasn’t lost any of their attitude or piss and vinegar because of that. Quite the contrary. Even though some people equal a better production, memorable songs and a professional outcome with commercialism and sell outs, those things really has nothing to do with each other at all. This album is easily Crucified Barbara’s best effort to date. Very convincing!

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Tracklist:

1. I Sell My Kids For Rock N’ Roll
2. To Kill A Man
3. Electric Sky
4. The Ghost Inside
5. Don’t Call On Me
6. In The Red
7. Lunatic #1
8. Shadows
9. Finders Keepers
10. Do You Want Me
11. Follow The Stream

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