Album Reviews

Crashdiet – Savage Playground Review

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Released by: Frontiers Records

Release Date: January 25th, 2013

Genre: Sleaze Hard Rock

Links: http://www.crashdiet.org/

 

Line Up:

Simon Cruz- Vocals

Martin Sweet – Guitar

Peter London – Bass

Eric Young – drums

 

Tracklist:

1. Change The World

2. Cocaine Cowboys

3. Anarchy

4. California

5. Lickin’ Dog

6. Circus

7. Sin City

8. Got a Reason

9. Drinkin’ Without You

10. Snakes In Paradise

11. Damage Kid

12. Excited

13. Garden Of Babylon

 

I’m not quite sure where or how to quantify the new Crashdiet album “The Savage Playground”, on one hand is definitely nice to hear the Crashers back with new material, how could be forget the impact they have had on the Sleaze movement and how influential they have been for not only bands in Sweden but around the world. No doubt the band has face some hurdles to get there after untimely death of guitar player the late Dave Lepard, later the band decided to keep on rocking and pay tribute to their falling mate and added vocalist Olli Herman to replace Lepard as the story goes he exits to join band Reckless Love enter Simon Cruz the former Jailbait front man. The band really was propelled to new heights after the success of “Generation Wild”, bringing forth attitude, sleaze and heaviness alongside the image that was missing from the scene for a long time. All things seemingly we’re falling into place.

Now almost three years to the release of their last record we have Savage Playground and man I had to really dig deep into this one because is definitely is a NEW Crashdiet here. The sound is more modern, the overly simplistic atonement in the music was little hard for me to get into at first and overall the music is not as top notch or hard rocking , raw and brute as I have come to expect from them. I’m trying hard not to bash this record too much as I don’t have a problem when bands choose to sound a little different then the norm, in fact I welcome it when it’s done for the sake of creativity and progression; I’m just not sure I can accept this sound on this record as of yet. I guess some fans may or may not like the direction they brought forward and overall is not an album that it’s going to make you brush away Generation Wild, but this is what you get here; a mix bag of tunes working it’s way through a crop field of modern sleaze glam in the year 2013.

crashdiet group

On the song “Change the World” we have an uncanny resemblance of “generation wild”, one of the few numbers that hits the spot just right even though Simon Cruz at times sounds like he’s bursting his tonsils screaming. “Circus” craft some tight musicianship like I know these guys can, the chorus is alright albeit a bit simple it does the job as it stands this tune is one of the strongest on the record. One of the commercial dishes here comes via “Damage Kid” not much going on here but straight ahead riffing with simplistic lyrics, groove is okay but the punch and overall feel is not doing it for me after a few listens. Even with Martin Sweet churning some interesting guitar riffs on “Excited”, the finish product just seems bland and the chorus doesn’t grab me as much. I can’t deny the driving plowing force of “Garden of Babylon” even with it’s heavier distortion and different rhythm changes this song stands as one of the most cohesive tracks on here, again different but for me it works when it comes to it’s intensity.

As preference above I’m going to refrain from calling Savage anything more then a passing grade effort,  the production probably could been better, and while I don’t mind the modern influences too much, some songs flow better then others ultimately leaving a fair overall music experience for me. I think if the listener gives this one some time it will find some really good tracks and eventually it’s a grower but maybe further down the line. As it stands right now Martin Sweet does keep things more cunningly orchestrated but still provides some good licks and grooves. Simon Cruz is solid but because some of the songs deviate from their commonly use formula  his voice sounds a bit strained in places. Overall I enjoyed it more with countless plays and it got better as time went on and the music sunk in more, I hope fans are satisfied with it as these guys have a loyal following and with the amount of pressure I’m sure has been mounting due to expectations, is not something is easily met. Sample for yourself and if you’re a fan of the band I don’t see why you wouldn’t check it out.

 

Written by Denys

Ratings    Denys    7/10

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