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Crashdiet, "Generation Wild" (2010) Album Review
A 21st Century Glam Metal Slam!
CRASHDIET - GENERATION WILD (Gain/Sony Europe, 2010)
11 Tracks, Run time: 40:23
Leather and chains, hairspray, loud guitars, tons of makeup, tattoos and attitude - Los Angeles, 1989? Nope, try 21st century Scandinavia. "Everything old is new again," as the saying goes, and while not all American rock fans have gotten the memo yet, the much-missed '80s Sunset Strip sound is not only alive and well, it's experiencing a resurgence in the European underground thanks to a new horde of two-fisted, snot-nosed bands like Hardcore Superstar, H.E.A.T. and Crazy Lixx, all of whom are proudly carrying the hair/sleaze metal flag into the new millennium. The four-piece crew of Swedish sleaze merchants known as Crashdiet were once widely considered to be the leaders of this new wave, but unfortunately it's been a mostly-bumpy ride for the band since the release of their 2005 debut Rest In Sleaze. In 2006 the Crashdiet camp was rocked by the tragic suicide of 25 year old lead vocalist Dave Lepard. Though the band quickly regrouped with new vocalist H. Olliver Twisted (who appeared on 2007's sophomore release, The Unattractive Revolution), the singer never truly "gelled" with his new band mates and Twisted was gone within a year. With newcomer Simon Cruz behind the mic, Crashdiet released album #3, Generation Wild, in 2010, and finally, all was right in Crashdiet Land.
For the uninitiated, Crashdiet's sound is a potent cocktail of early Motley Crue (i.e. Too Fast For Love and Shout at the Devil) meshed with the heaviness of Slave To the Grind-era Skid Row, and though I may be the only one, I swear I can also detect a bit of Dokken at times, particularly in the impressive vocal harmonies heard during choruses. The first proper track, "My Armageddon," quickly proved that Simon Cruz was the perfect choice to front this the band; he oozes confidence and carries himself with plenty of attitude and swagger, effortlessly changing with the album's moods from a smooth croon to a shriek to an angry snarl. Of course, Crashdiet is not a one-man show, and the other three band members are no slouches either - guitarist Martin Sweet can rip with the best of'em, and his six-string nastiness is capably backed by the drum abuse of Eric Young and the crunchy bass work of Pete London. In a nutshell, Generation Wild is one helluva fun ride, chock full of loud, obnoxious, party-hearty anthems with hooks big enough to land a whale. I can hear echoes of "Round and Round" by Ratt and Skid Row's "Youth Gone Wild" in the title track, while "So Alive" opens with a rumbling, heavy bass groove and a piercing scream that wouldn't sound out of place on a Judas Priest album. Slower tracks like "Save Her" and the closing "Beautiful Pain" have enough grit and grease in them to keep them from falling into the dreaded "Power Ballad" territory, and when the band really puts the pedal to the metal, as on the absolutely killer "Rebel," the sizzling "Down With the Dust" and the punk-laced "Native Nature," it's hard to resist the urge to air-guitar along. You'll find yourself humming these songs to yourself in no time.
All Your Dietary Needs...
Summin' It up
Catchy enough for the hair metal crowd, heavy enough for the headbangers, and blessed with a healthy dose of F-you punk rock attitude, Generation Wild throws a nitro-fueled, middle-fingers-in-the-air hand grenade into the midst of today's pre-packaged, oh-so-pretentious hard rock scene. The boys in Crashdiet remember the days when rock 'n' roll was supposed to be obnoxious, dangerous, and most of all, FUN...and with material this strong they're bound to snag more than a few new converts to the Crash-cause. This CD is a mission statement from a band that has been through the fire and has come out the other side stronger than ever. If this lineup can stick together for more albums (and maybe sign to a label with U.S. distribution!), the sky could be the limit. Somewhere, Dave Lepard is smiling.
Since the original publication of this article, Crashdiet toured around the world to support Generation Wild. After taking a short break to recover, they recorded their fourth studio album, The Savage Playground, which was released in January of 2013 on Frontiers Records. The album marked the first time Crashdiet had the same lead singer for two albums in a row and garnered raves from the band's rabid fan base. Crashdiet even came to the U.S. for a few select live performances in Glam capitols like Los Angeles.
Unfortunately, lead vocalist Simon Cruz left Crashdiet in 2015. As of this writing, there has been no announcement from the band about the possibility of a new singer, or even if they will continue.
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What's Your Favorite Crashdiet album?
CRASHDIET Select Discography:
Crashdiet (EP) - self released, 2003
Rest In Sleaze - Universal Sweden, 2005
The Unattractive Revolution - Universal, 2007
Generation Wild - Gain, 2010
Shattered Glass & Broken Bones: Three Years of Generation Wild (DVD) - 2012
The Savage Playground - Frontiers, 2013