EP REVIEW: Razor Candy – Razor Candy

I like to think I am a tough nut to crack, an enigma, if you will, shrouded in a mystical cloud of mystery. My editor proved to me that when it comes to my musical tastes he has me all figured out. Case in point, the new self-titled EP by Razor Candy (Sensory Recordings). My editor said I would really dig the newly released profoundly immoral brainchild of Paul Wiley (Marilyn Manson, Deveraux) and Chad Cherry (The Last Vegas, The Claws) and he was not wrong. I may be a self-described metalhead, but I am also a self-described lover of musical ingenuity and raw talent, which Razor Candy not only possesses but showcases in an eloquently macabre way. The EP contains five tracks that are available in all streaming formats, but for you vinyl loving freaks (myself included) there is a bonus track included only on vinyl, how fanfreakingtastical is that? Continue reading

Backyard Babies – Four By Four

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That is not dead which can eternal lie, and with strange aeons even a band may die… but not this band, and not today. For this is the era where bands do not go gentle into that good night (or if they do, they come back pretty quickly the next morning, handsome smiles flashing an unsaid apology as if to say “nothing happened here”). So here Backyard Babies stand before us, six-strings in hand, with a new selection of their trademark Hanoi Rocks meets The Wildhearts meets Alice Cooper glam punk tunes on their new album, Four By Four (Gain Music).

It was eighteen years ago that Backyard Babies burst onto the scene, heading a Scandinavian raucous of bands that included The Hellacopters and Hardcore Superstar with bold, bright punked up rock music that stuck two fingers and a stacked knee high boot into the groin of grunge, bringing sleaze and pizzazz back to a table that was wringing wet with the limp celery, hummus and self-loathing of a 90’s music scene that celebrated introspection and mumbling. 1997’s Total 13 (Scooch Pooch) saw the Babies ‘Bombed’ (out of their minds) with boots stuck with glue (yep…) and set to take over the world.

And yet it didn’t quite happen. Moderate success came their way, though in 2004 it seemed like they’d cracked it with the stomping Stockholm Syndrome (RCA) led by Guitar Hero playable track the mighty ‘Minus Celcius’, a career high grandstand tune if ever there was one. The world may be an oyster, but oysters don’t always contain pearls, and two subsequent uneventful albums passed by until in 2009 the Babies released a compilation album that was said to mark the passing of the band.

The band have been keen to stress Four By Four is not a comeback album, more a picking things up from where they left them, and all the expected sounds and styles are in place. Nicke Borg’s distinctive voice leads the way, with Dregen ripping jacked up glam rock from his guitar, but try as they might it’s all a bit flat, and all a bit pub rock. Some good tunes go by – lead off single ‘Th1rteen or Nothing’ is a stomper – but the core of the album is filled with wistful (wasteful) numbers, as the duller tempo of tunes like ‘Mirrors (Shall Be Broken)’ choke the remnants of life. It’s not bad, but in the end, you’re left with the feeling that whatever it was that used to make these guys spark no longer sizzles but sputters.

 

5.5/10

 

STEVE TOVEY

 

Buckcherry Confirm New Album Details

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Multi-platinum selling sleaze-rockers Buckcherry have confirmed full details of their seventh album Rock n’ Roll, which will be released by F-Bomb/Caroline Records.

To be released on 21st August, the album features 10 tracks:

  1. Bring It On Back
  2. Tight Pants
  3. Wish To Carry On
  4. The Feeling Never Dies
  5. Cradle
  6. The Madness
  7. Wood
  8. Rain’s Falling
  9. Sex Appeal
  10. Get With It

Vocalist Josh Todd decreed: “There’s been so much talk about how rock ‘n’ roll is dead and all of this bullshit. The funny thing is, that’s been going on since we put out our first record in 1999. We wanted to call the new album Rock ‘n’ Roll, because this is what we’ve been doing our whole lives. We focused on making a record that encompasses all of what we are. You get every flavor of Buckcherry.”

Buckcherry Tour Dates:

July 18 – El Paso, TX – Texas Showdown Festival

July 25 – Royalton, MN – Halfway Jam

July 31 – Kansas City, MO – KC Live!

Aug 1 – Maryland Heights, MO – Hollywood Casino Amphitheatre

Aug 6 – Sturgis, SD – Buffalo Chip

Aug 15 – Longview, TX – Ink Life Tattoo Convention

Sep 19 – Menomonie, WI – Stout Ale House

You can pre-order Buckcherry Rock ‘n’ Roll here

Santa Cruz – Santa Cruz

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The opening of thirty seconds of the self-titled sophomore album (Spinefarm) from Finland’s Santa Cruz teases of this being (yet another) post-hardcore album before, like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible II, rips off the covering mask with a stomping cojones-to-the-max Sleaze Rock riff. We’re implored to get our “middle fingers up” and raise our “fucking hands in the air” before being swept up into the type of chorus that used to get millions of mulleted and permed peeps singing along.

Santa Cruz have unveiled their true selves.

But let’s get some disclaimers in early before we end up doing Santa Cruz a disservice and having you all rolling your eyes to the heavens and thinking this is some kind of retro throwback, na-na-na (as many a great chorus’ go), this is sleaze and glam but up-to-date. Yes, the roots of the rock swagger on display have been led from Park Avenue to Skid Row, but there are also similarities to The Used and Hardcore Superstar in there.

OK, there is no musical revolution going on here, but when you have songs as massive as ‘6(66) Feet Under’ or ‘My Remedy’ you don’t need to be setting a new agenda, you’ll win hearts and minds just by producing damn good, catchy, slick spirited rock songs; ‘Wasted & Wounded’ is, (woah-oh-oh, woah-oh-oh), the song Black Veil Brides have always been striving for.

Vocalist “Archie” has Seb Bach ‘tood in his voice and “Johnny” Parkkonen  is happy slamming riffs, chugs, and searing widdling leads (the solo to ‘Vagabonds’ is pure Marty Friedman – love it!), but between them the quartet stay on target for the duration of the ten tracks on display, high-energy rock music, excellently captured with enough heaviness, balls and vibe in the sound to help them stand out, and to indicate a live show would a great night out.

There’s a line between disposable, retro hero-worship rock (that frankly bores the fuck out of me and flatters to deceive) and being a goddamn good rock band, and Santa Cruz are man-walking, chests out, over there; the line is a dot to them. With the power of a Bullet For My Valentine, and the choruses of Ratt, Santa Cruz is an album that’ll get your boogie on, get your hand in the air, your air guitar out and get your mouth singing along.

And you can’t argue with that.

 

8.0/10

Santa Cruz on Facebook

 

STEVE TOVEY