CRASHDIET – GENERATION WILD (GAIN PRODUCT 2010)

REVIEW BY VILLE KRANNILA / SEPTEMBER 2010

Sweden’s Crashdiet are the glam/hard rock offsprings who have swung punk/hard rock meltdown so popular in the mid 1980’s right back to headlines. Admittedly they are not alone on this, as several other hopefuls remain on the scene. Crashdiet have over the years built a steady following both in mainland Europe, and Japan where their albums have shifted considerable amounts.

The band is now on to their third album with each record presenting a new vocalist. The debut disc “Rest In Sleaze” had classic voice of Dave Lepard who then sadly took his own life. Recovering from this tragedy the second album “The Unattractive Revolution” presented new singer Olliver Twisted, but the chemistry didn’t quite work there so off he went. Third man Simon Cruz on the mike took over and it’s his voice at the forefront of “Generation Wild.”

For starters this album is a good weight heavier than their previous efforts. No worries, there are still plenty of glam moments and ballad-lovers aren’t forgotten about either. The guitar riffs do pack a mightier punch than before and personally, this is something the songs benefit from and they seem to hit the listener between the eyes.

After short intro segment, “Armageddon” opens the record with irresistible guitar riff and melody. Sound is somewhat similar to Kiss circa 1984 and “Lick It Up/Animalize,” which can only be a good thing of course. The riff distantly recalls “Animalize’s” underrated gem “I’ve Had Enough (Into The Fire)” and gets the album off to a rocking start.

Next up “So Alive” is even better, excellent melodies (this should be a hit, really) again dominate and this time we get glimpses of Mötley Crue in their prime. Hell, this is great stuff. Extra points must be given to guitar solos which are brief enough not to get in the way of the song and yet add something meaningful to overall atmosphere.

Title track has more Skid Row influences (or maybe it’s the “Youth Gone Wild” name connection playing tricks on me) spread out, but it works like charm. This is becoming a habit now but one must say the chorus is brilliant.

After this it’s almost evitable the record loses a bit of steam. It’s also due to sheer greatness of first four tracks which make the following songs slightly pale in comparison. They are not bad, by any sort of rating, just slightly below the level of what’s gone before.

We are back on masterclass with track number nine, “Chemical” which is nothing less than classic glam rock, the kind of anthem latter day Hanoi Rocks always wished they could write. Finally the last song “Beautiful Pain” has a nice hook-line and is a perfect way to close the CD.

Like mentioned before “Generation Wild” uses the best of 1980’s sounds to its advantage but still infuses them with new, youthful energy. The influences are there and the band wears them with pride, as the album progresses the shade of Mötley Crue of the same timeframe appear, as well as early Bon Jovi and classic Poison. But they also carry a distinctive sound of their own; being notably heavier than any of the aforementioned groups (except maybe Mötley Crue with their “Shout At The Devil”).The album also lasts mere 40 minutes – a proof that it’s the quality, not quantity which counts. Something that becomes painfully obvious when listening to for example Iron Maiden’s new turgid 76-minute CD.

Vocalist Simon Cruz,without comparing him to previous frontmen, does very good job and the voice seem to fit into the music exceptionally well. The sound and other players also gel in together perfectly, nothing is overdone, the main focus is on the melodies as it should be.

All in all, this is one of the best rock albums to emerge in the year 2010 and arguably Crashdiet’s finest achievement yet. It’s the kind of music that simply makes you feel good. What more can you ask for?

4k

crashdiet_gw

1. 422
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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About Ville Krannila