Tuesday, December 04, 2007

Review: Crashdïet - The Unattractive Revolution

Label: Universal Music AB

Released: October 3, 2007

Even as an undercurrent to mainstream rock, a glam revival was one of the last things I expected to see. But this year has proved that a genre that was crumbling under its own bloated self twenty years ago might still have a little bit to offer. Sure, it's full of "reunions" where one original member is trying to cash in on past success that they often never deserved in the first place. The big glam event of the year, Rocklahoma, was a nostalgia fest at best despite its commercial success, because it focused on the has-beens. What it ignored was that some things going on in the glam scene have more to offer than just the past. The latest Hanoi Rocks is a change in tone, yet one of their best albums, the Gypsy Pistoleros have infused old sleazy hard rock with a Latin flair and now Crashdïet has shown that a little youthful energy goes a long way even when rehashing the stupidity of a shallow genre.

Silly stage names and umlauts didn't bode well for Crashdïet and while there's nothing musically new about The Unattractive Revolution, it's clear from the opening track that they have enthusiasm for what they're doing. Granted the revolution is a fake and the lyrics, while pretty literate by hair metal standards, are an inane treatise on hedonism, but that does little to interfere with their high-energy rock experience. At their best, they mix the heaviness of metal with the swagger of sleaze, walking a line that most of their predecessors never attempted in lieu of the slick soulless formula. They do get off track at times, sounding a little too much like Motley Crue here (minor flaw) and drawing a little too much from Bon Jovi there (major flaw), but these moments are the exception rather than the rule. It may be of note to some that Mick Mars helped out on two tracks, but his skills being what they are, it isn't really noticeable.

While I don't think you can trade intoxication for salvation as Crashdïet would propose, you can trade passion, even somewhat misplaced, for a new sound...at least sometimes. For whatever reason, Crashdïet gets away with it on The Unattractive Revolution. If you like to spend a lot of time in the superficial world of glam, Crashdïet is a much better alternative than the Bang Tangos and Faster Pussycats of the world who stake their claim to the past on one original (often old and tired) member.

Rating: 6/10



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Blogger Metal Mark said...

Two hair metal reviews in one day? Maybe you should change your name from Bob Vinyl to Hair Band Bob. You could sponsor a summer concert called Boblahoma. You could get Trixter to headline this year because I heard they are reforming for dates in 2008. Okay, maybe not.

9:21 AM  
Blogger Ray Van Horn, Jr. said...

I'll put in the good word for you with Geoff Tate so he can headline Hair Band Bobapalooza....I know how much you love him.

11:33 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What a dreadful review. I got about halfway through before realizing this guy has got a very little idea what hes talking about. Then again, why am I wasting my time with some guys useless opinion who happened to voice this ignorant opinion on the internet.

8:44 PM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

Anon - Why would I care about the opinion of someone who doesn't know how to use an apostrophe? Good work, genius.

Actually, I know quite a bit about what I'm talking about, hence my review. I'm guessing that you blindly love glam which doesn't argue well for your ability to discern what's good and bad.

9:26 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

noo you don't have no idea what you are talking about....
first you are talking about glam feom an ignorant point of view, an stereotype. how can you call shallow an stupid a scene (glam isn't a musical style really), thar gave us the new york dolls, david bowie, hanoi rocks, vain, and the dogs d' amour? that's talking about something you don't know. and all those bands are totally connected with all the L.A. bands, some could get away with it perfectly others couldn't, but in the end it was just good rock n' roll, just like crashdiet's two albums, the thing's that like it or not they're beeing honest with what they're doing

9:10 AM  
Blogger bob_vinyl said...

The problem with the vast majority of the Sunset Strip scene is that it had little to do with the original glam scene that gave us T Rex and Mott the Hoople, etc (no matter what claims those bands made) other than outrageous clothes and hair. As far as Crashdiet is concerned, it doesn't seem we differ in opinion that much. You say it's "just good rock n roll" and I it's nothing new, but their energy makes up for creative shortcomings. Granted I stated my opinion as a bit of a backhanded compliment. The album was okay, but it would have been much better had it tapped into Sweet or Slade rather than Motley Crue.

9:41 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

the concept of "hair band" is something in which all 80 L.A. bands and again is just an ignorant stereotype, yes there was warrant, danger danger and other "cheep entretainment" type of bands who had no real bases in rock n roll, but i would recomend that you opened your mind for some great music that came out of there, well sure you know motley crew, guns n roses, or faster pussycat but you should look for bands like vain, the sea hags, cherry bombz, rockcity angels, erotic suicide, enuff z' nuff, and well there are many great things. Yeah maybe they weren't a blast of fresh air, but you dont go and sound "new" just for the sake of it, bob dylan never did it or led zeppelin or the rolling stones they were just playin rock n roll if you litsen to many of those hair bands 90s albums most ot them were in a a highly creative state, but the thing is that it takes time otherwise they're just big ego assholes with mozart delusions.

8:01 PM  

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