By STEVE MASCORD
WHAT is the difference between the likes of CrashDiet or Black Veil Brides and Motley Crue or Poison? To those without an affinity with the glam metal genre, not much.
But to someone who was around for the rise and fall of the Sunset Strip scene, there is something about many of the newer acts that is somewhat jarring. It’s difficult to put a finger on what- but after repeated listens of this, the fourth offering from Sweden’s CrashDiet, I’ll have a go.
Firstly, the tracks just seem faster than anything the likes of Warrant and Slaughter attempted. Old commercial metal seems to have been put in a strainer and what’s been washed away is … the blues. In its place is frenetic drumming, Def Leppardeque harmonies and a post-punk, post-thrash sensibility.
On one hand, it’s good to see glam is evolving. It’s an active genre, despite what many think.
This dinosaur reviewer loves the current album by fellow Swedes Crazy Lixx while he finds the Mick Mars-endorsed Black Veil Brides too dark and abrasive.
I’m pleased to say The Savage Playground (do you reckon anyone threw up ‘The Savage Garden’ as a suggestion at one stage?) is somewhere in the middle. There’re elements of both.
Some of the tracks do put you in mind of sinewy kids with extravagant haircuts and those deep v-neck t-shirts that attract as much attention as their music – “Circus”, “Drinkin’ Without You”, “Garden Of Babylon”, “Change The World”, “Anarchy”.
But others have the sort of grinding, chunky riffs that I look for in a rock album. There’s some of that missing blues in the fantastic “Cocaine Cowboys”, “Lickin’ Dog” is sleazy and slinky, “Snakes In Paradise” opens with a riff worthy of the glory days of Gazzarri’s.
And “Excited”? AOR Heaven! “Got A Reason” also slows things down agreeably before delivering a killer chorus.
I saw CrashDiet on a Friday 13/Michael Monroe triple bill just over a year ago and was nonplussed. There’s enough on “The Savage Playground” for them to get a second chance.