Part glam, part thrash, part progressive, The Savage Playground, Crashdiet’s latest record, is all grand. Highlighting masterpiece guitar solos, sleazy vocals, and good time party lyrics, The Savage Playground is a record that emphasizes fun. And who doesn’t like to have fun?
Opening with a spoken soliloquy reminiscent of Motley Crue’s “…In The Beginning,” The Savage Playground takes hold immediately with glam vocals, sleaze guitars, and a whole lot of hard rocking for the record. After pelting the listener with glam rock for the opener “Change The World,” Crashdiet shifts gear to trash with “Cocaine Cowboys.” This is a turn it up loud and play it real proud party song with a thumping bass beat that goes on for miles.
The guitar work from Martin sweet on this album is exceptional. His solos absolutely shred and add a sophisticated level of depth to the record. Sweet has a great appreciation for scales and solos and applies them at just the right time. His genius stands out on The Savage Playground. The combination of Sweet’s guitar and Simon Cruz’ vocals blend well and bring The Savage Playground to life.
Crashdiet spent a lot of time mixing up their sound for this release. Venturing between glam, sleaze, thrash, progressive, and even a ballad, Crashdiet was not afraid to experiment with different sounds and styles which helped the record stay fresh. It can be disappointing when every song on an album starts to sound the same as the last, but The Savage Playground has none of that. Each track is a new piece that stands out on its own and helps to further cement the versatility of Crashdiet.
If you are looking for a record that rocks hard and is worthy of a few spins this spring while cruising down the highway, or playing air guitar in your basement, give The Savage Playground a try. It’s an album that will get several listens over the course of time. Highly entertaining, heavily rocking, and quite delightful, The Savage Playground is a solid effort from Crashdiet.
Rating: Out of 10
- Change The World
- Cocaine Cowboys
- Lickin’ Dog
- Sin City
- Tonight’s The Night
- Damaged Kid
Simon Cruz – Lead Vocals, Rhythm Guitar
Martin Sweet – Lead Guitar
Peter London – Bass Guitar
Eric Young – Drums
Reviewed by Ryo Vie
Saxon is just about to release their 20th studio album (gasp!), Sacrifice on the world on Tuesday. How does their latest effort Sacrifice stand up? In my opinion, Sacrifice is better than the last couple of releases, Call to Arms and Into the Labyrinth. It is heavier, grittier and delivers a lot more punch than the previous two albums. Byford’s vocals are still in fine form. Even at the ripe young age of 62, Byford is still delivering some of the best vocals in heavy metal. I can’t say enough about the guitar work of Paul Quinn and Doug Scarratt either. There are plenty of solos and heavy riffs to feast your ears on.
After the brief instrumental opener “Procession”, Sacrifice really doesn’t let up at all. If the title track “Sacrifice” doesn’t get your blood pumping, your stereo might be broken. The pounding rhythms don’t end with “Sacrifice”. In fact, there isn’t a slow moment on the album.
If NASCAR was smart, they would use “Warriors of the Road” as a theme song. Byford lets his fondness of auto racing flow into this song with the sound effects from the high speed whine of some open wheel race cars. Much like those race cars, the throttle is wide open on “Warriors of the Road”. This high octane rocker is going to be staple in Saxon’s live set without a doubt.
Another favorite song on Sacrifice is “Stand Up And Fight”. This is a great metal anthem, with a simple, yet powerful message.
If Sacrifice falls short anywhere, it is the overall length of the album, which is a little on the short side. I will take 40 minutes of quality heavy metal over sixty minutes of crap rock any day of the week though, so this isn’t a problem for me. Sacrifice might not stand up to the classic albums, Denim & Leather, or Wheels of Steel, but it is definitely one of the better Saxon albums in the last 10 years or so. It is solid all the way through, and worth your hard earned dollars.
Fans of classic metal and Saxon fans are going to love this! Recommended!
Rating: Out of 10
03. Made In Belfast
04. Warriors of the Road
05. Guardians of the Tomb
06. Stand Up and Fight
07. Walking The Steel
08. Night of the Wolf
09. Wheels of Terror
10. Standing In A Queue
Biff Byford – vocals
Paul Quinn – guitars
Doug Scarratt – guitars
Nibbs Carter – bass
Nigel Glockler – drums
I have mixed feeling regarding Whipped. There are a few songs that are halfway decent, and others that I can hardly listen to. Your enjoyment of this disc, will likely depend on how big of a fan you are of this band.
The only thing that kept Nonstop to Nowhere from being a major hit is the song length (6:57). The video for this song, is much shorter, than the actual song length.
Body Thief and Jack the Bastard are full of sleaze and rock hard. Both of these songs are among my favorites on this disc.
If it wasn’t for Taime Downe’s vocals on Big Dictionary, I would actually think I was listening to a Dave Matthews song. The music style is very unlike anything I recall Faster Pussycat doing in the past. I have mixed feelings on this song. It almost seems out of place here.
I wish I could tell you that I didn’t like Maid in Wonderland, but the fact is, I do. The guitar riff is catchy, and the song is solid.
Friends kind of sounds like Faster Pussycat trying to pull off a Cinderella type ballad. I will pass on this one. Cinderella does these piano based numbers much better. Taime Downe is certainly no Tom Keifer.
Madam Ruby’s Love Boutique has grown on me somewhat, but the rest of the songs here, Cat Bash (silly), Loose Booty (This sounds like a song the Beastie Boys rejected), Mr.Lovedog (noisy), and Out with a Bang (more noise) fail to excite me.
I don’t know if it Taime Downe’s voice that annoys me so much, or the lack of strong songs on this disc, but I doubt that I will listen to Whipped very much in the future. It has a few decent moments, but this disc is far from being stellar.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Nonstop to Nowhere
2. Body Thief
3. Jack the Bastard
4. Big Dictionary
5. Madam Ruby’s Love Boutique
6. Only Way Out
7. Maid in Wonderland
9. Cat Bash
10. Loose Booty
11. Mr. Lovedog
12. Out With a Bang
The only remaining original member is singer Taime Down. The rest of the band is filled out by Xristian Simon on Guitar, Danny Nordahl on Bass, and Chad Stewart on Drums.
I have to be honest. I hope the songs that Faster Pussycat performs at Rocklahoma are from their late 80’s and early 90’s catalog. I do not think The Power and the Glory Hole is a glorious return for Faster Pussycat at all. This new CD has elements of sleaze, glam and industrial type of music. Some songs almost work, and some are so noisy, I could not enjoy them at all. At times, it almost sounds like band is trying to venture into Marilyn Manson territory. If you like that style of music, you may enjoy this, but this was a little to different from original releases for my taste.
A couple of the songs on this disc, if reworked with less industrial style bass, could have been very cool. Unfortunately, distorted bass over powers most of the songs on the The Power & The Glory Hole.
If Faster Pussycat’s Rocklahoma set consists of songs mainly off of this disc, I would recommend getting in line for a beer, and some food. This disc will likely disappoint most fans of 80’s style hard rock. I found this disc unlistenable.
Rating: Out of 10
1. Number One With A Bullet
2. Gotta Love It
4. Sex, Drugs, And Rock’N’Roll
6. These Boots Are Made For Walking
7. Hey You
8. Porn Star
9. The Power And The Gloryhole
10. Shut Up And Fuck
11. Bye Bye Bianca