The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world

The Rock Pit - Hard rock, Metal and Blues Interviews, news & reviews from Australia and around the world
CD crashdiet thesavageplayground review


the savAge playground


january 2013


back for the attack


I’ve been looking forward to this one for a while now, and as anyone who knows me will attest I’ve always had a love of the Sleazy Rock and Roll that heads our way primarily from Sweden these days. And with bands like Crazy Lixx and Crashdiet sitting pretty high in my list, a new release from either is always something to savour. The big question is what will the 2013 vintage be like?



The one nagging thing I had on my mind in the lead up to this release was would the band push the envelope, or pretty much stay safe with a  sound that has seen them get to  play some pretty big tours recently with bands of the ilk of Motley Crue and even Ozzy. To cut to the chase the answer is that they have played VERY safe, VERY safe indeed, and to me that was a mistake. For a genre of music that once sounded dangerous and threw a defiant finger up to authority, and for a band that really did seem to encompass that, the writing on the wall on 2013 is that, like a lot of bands of the genre, there is a cleaner, more produced and less edgy sound. 



That of course though isn’t the end of the story and the clean sound Chris Laney brings will certainly please some more than others. Strangely for a band with a few albums under their belt this is actually the first time a lead singer has appeared on two albums, and so it’s good to see a more settled Simon. The story of the album for me though isn’t so much the sound as the fact that the songs are pretty variable in quality too. Whereas ‘Generation Wild’ had something to prove and kicked ass as a result there’s seemingly no pressure on the band at this stage, so it’s interesting that in some respects this sounds like a bit of a pastiche of the scene. The hooks that made Crashdiet so utterly unmissable are still there in some of the songs but are far from being there across the board. The riffs too sound a little tired in some quarters, and whilst lyrically we pretty much know what to expect there’s again an over reliance on the same old clichés, but often in this case without the real balls that meant you really didn’t care less previously.



Don’t get me wrong I LIKE this album, but I think overall there is definitely filler here and at 13 tracks I would have settled for a much meatier and more muscular maybe 9 song album as to be frank some of these songs sound like B-Sides.   That is certainly not to say that there aren’t some classics on here, as there certainly are, and they are of the sort of quality that you know you’ll be playing them in years to come, which I guess in a way makes up for pretty much everything else…



So as well as a thumbs down for the (over) production I’m also charging songs like ‘Sin City’ but particularly ‘Lickin’ Dog’ of ticking the ‘filler’ box.



There are also some interesting sounds and pointers on songs like ‘Snakes In Paradise’ and ‘Anarchy’ that I’m still on the fence with, at the minute to me they sound a little unresolved , good ideas but lacking real bite. ‘Garden of Babylon’ the closing ‘epic’ at the moment doesn’t quite work for me either, but hey I’m sure some will love that slightly overdone Eastern-tinged monster!



In the huge plus column (and this is the biggest column) moments of real magic include the impressively melodic rocker: “California”; the single “Cocaine Cowboys” of course; and strangely the almost pop-fuelled (and Reckless Love like?)’Got A Reason’. I’m also a fan of ‘Drinking Without You’ which has that similar flavour and is sooo catchy. There’s also a riffy ‘Damaged Kid’ which even though pretty much every band has covered the ground lyrically, has a real pace and drive to it that makes you want to put that foot down in the car, love that song.



My favourite of the moment though is probably the huge-riffed and rustling “Circus” which if it was the template for the album, rather than the underwhelming opening track “Change the World” we’d be talking 5-stars no doubt!




By Mark Diggins