Mustasch

MUSTASCH – Thank You For The Demon

Mustasch - Thank You For The DemonI first heard of Mustasch back in 2002 when they had smaller hits with songs like “I Hunt Alone” and “Down In Black” from their debut album Above All. It’s safe to say that they didn’t exactly rock my world. To me, singer Ralf Gyllenhammar sounded like some kind of hybrid of Ian Astbury (The Cult) and Glenn Danzig. Nothing wrong with Astbury, but I can’t stand Danzig’s voice. Not that I disliked the music, but I couldn’t find anything that interested me in Mustasch at all –  and things didn’t approve with the follow ups “Ratsafari” (2003) and “Powerhouse” (2005), so when we wrote 2007 and the news came that Mustasch were about to release a new album, I really couldn’t care less. But then “Doubler Nature” hit me. Like a ton of bricks! That song sure did kick my butt – heavy, catchy, aggressive with a big, fat production signed Tobias Lindell (Hardcore Superstar, Europe, H.E.A.T.) and with strings added to the mix, that song became a big hit – it is today Mustasch’s most popular song. The album that followed that single, Latest Version Of The Truth, was a real killer. That album made me a fan. The “All killer, no filler” term fits perfectly on that album. They followed that album with a self titled effort, that I believe is really underrated. I mean, it’s really hard to follow up a monster success, so naturally, Mustasch (2009) wasn’t as good as its predecessor, but in my world, it’s damn bloody close. They followed that up with The New Sound Of The True Best in 2011, an album full of old songs re-recorded – I didn’t connect with that at all. After that they lost it totally. Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven (2012) was a mediocre release that didn’t make many people happy. And listening to their brand new CD, the guys weren’t that happy with it either.

Something has happened to Mustasch during 2013, I guess, because where their last album sounded tired, empty and where their influences were more or less thefts, this new album shows a band firing on all cylinders, ready to kick some serious ass and are not afraid to take their music further down the road. I got a big smile on face just from the opening riffs in first track “Feared And Hated”. It screams Mustasch a long way, but somewhere in there I can hear traces of pre-The Final Countdown Europe. Very cool. The title track is brilliant and on here the strings are back. Sure, they might have glanced a bit towards “Double Nature” sound wise, but the song is not a cheap re-write of that tune. “From Dyslexia To Dystopia” has some really fine metal riffing, “The Mauler” also has the strings, but this song is slow and heavy, kinda Mustasch meets Black Sabbath – really good, “All My Life” is great, a heavy ballad and “I Hate To Dance” is just so awesome where they mix disco beats with some Black Sabbath and Metallica influenced riffing – what a brave move. A move that really works. “I Don’t Wanna Be Who I Am” ends the album. It’s an acoustic based riff ballad with strings on top. Kind of a mellow way to end the album, but it works and the song is really good. Anything I dislike then? Well, I really can’t subscribe to the “Roadhouse Blues” goes metal in the David Johannesson (lead guitar) sung “Lowlife Highlights” – maybe it’s just me that don’t get it, but I don’t think it works.

To be honest, I had more or less given up on the band when this album changed things around. Because things had moved down hill since Mustasch was released in 2009 and “Angel’s Share”, the only new song on the compilation album, didn’t impress me at all. Combined with the fact that their last album was weak, I thought that maybe they had lost their plot all together. Also, singer and band leader Gyllenhammar appeared in Melodifestivalen (the Swedish part of the music competition that is known as Eurovision Song Contest) with a weak ballad called “Bed On Fire”. He went solo because the rest of the band didn’t want to do it, apparently. I really thought that that was it for the band. But Thank You For The Demon is easily their best work since the brilliant Latest Version Of The Truth. Even though this one is produced by the band together with Rikard Löfgren and Gustaf Ydenius, two names that don’t ring any bells whatsoever, the album is similar to Latest Version Of The Truth in sound at times. The sound is very fat and in your face but still rough around the edges – and it sounds really great through your head phones. Mustasch were maybe down for the count, but with this album they have risen on ten and are ready fight back. I’d give this album a listen if I were you.

Jon Wilmenius (8/10)

Tracklist:

01. Feared and Hated
02. Thank You for the Demon
03. From Euphoria to Dystopia
04. The Mauler
05. Borderline
06. All My Life
07. Lowlife Highlights
08. I Hate to Dance
09. Don’t Want to be Who I Am

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