Album Reviews

Vanity BLVD – Wicked Temptation Review


Released by: Noisehead Records

Release Date: Out Now!!!

Genre: Hard Rock/Sleaze



Line Up:

Anna Savage: Vocals

Traci Trexx: Guitar

Pete Ash: Bass

Gebb: Drums



01. Dirty Rat

02. Miss Dangerous

03. Do or Die

04. Hot Teaser

05. Had Enough

06. Soulshaker

07. Scream Out

08. Thrills in the Night

09. Falling Down

10. Desperate Heart

11. Dirty Action


VANITY BLVD (pronounced: boulevard) was formed in the city of Avesta in 2005 and quickly made a mark on the sleaze scene with two self produced EP´s of gritty, grimy hard rock music.

The debut full-length, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Overdose”, from 2008 was produced by Chris Laney who has worked with bands such as EUROPE, CANDLEMASS and CRASHDIET. The single from the album, “Share My Pain”, received plenty of airplay at various Swedish radio stations.

VANITY BLVD return with second album ‘Wicked Temptation’, produced this time by  Nicko Di Marino (Steelwing) and mastered by Jonas Kjellgren (Amorphis, Pain, Overkill)

‘Dirty Rat’ opens the album and leaves the listener in no doubt that this again will be a grimy, dirty, sleaze fuelled album that the Swedes seem to do oh so well. With a solid drum and bass rhythm section, guitar solos that force their way to the front of the mix, it’s the additional of vocals from Anna Savage that gives their sound a unique feel. Most of the Scandi-sleaze acts treading the boards at the moment have male vocalists so Anna’s style and range makes for an interesting and rewarding change for the listener.

‘Miss Dangerous’ takes the simple rock premise of verse, hook, chorus, repeat… and delivers a very catchy tune cementing the model that pervades for the whole album. There’s nothing here that’s going to challenge the listener or make them sit up and scratch their head as they might if listening to a 17 minute prog epic from another band. No, this is straight ahead hard rock that delivers exactly what the band’s Bio suggests.

‘Do or Die’ has a tremendously infectious chorus with some great vocal harmonies pushing the song deep into the head of the listener who is likely to find themselves humming it later in the day and for weeks to come.

‘Hot Teaser’ with its great line of “it tastes so good, feels so wrong, what the hell have you done..?’ again shows how the band build out the harmonies to make Anna’s delivery sound fuller and prime you for some excellent guitar soloing from Traci Trexx (great name!).

In true sleaze rock style, it’s five songs into the album before the band take their foot off the gas momentarily. ‘Had Enough’ starts off very slowly with some neat guitar picking and soothing vocals from Anna. Lighters are withdrawn from pockets and as they start to be lifted skyward the band rethink their strategy and as you hear Anna sigh the energy returns and the track kicks back into life again. The soloing from Trexx stands out with a crunchy wah-wah  pedal being added to great effect.

‘Soulshaker’ and ‘Scream Out’ continue in a similar vein before the man with the least rock n roll name in the band, Pete Ash, gets to open ‘Thrills in the Night’ with a throbbing bass line. Shades of glam and punk influences from the 70s and 80s fly back and forth before ‘Falling Down’ provides the albums first true lighters in the air ballad with Anna’s vocal range being given the chance to shine as it powers to the front of the mix. The guitar work pays homage to C.C. DeVille with a classic Poison vibe.

Ultimately there are countless styles and influences that can be spotted in the tracks, all of which hark back to the stadium rock eras of the 80s. They would go down a storm at Sweden Rock and similar Scandinavian festivals and as the album closes with another ‘Dirty..’ titled track it’s easy to imagine that a live show should be some spectacle. Get front and centre for a little bit of rock and roll raunchiness and leave feeling a little bit dirtier than when you arrived. Great fun!!



Written by Adrian

Ratings    Adrian    7/10

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