Crashdïet – ‘The Savage Playground’

It would be very easy to dismiss Crashdïet as yet another Swedish sleaze metal outfit, and indeed they have been very much at the forefront of the revival in that regard. However, personally, I’ve always found them to be more appealing than, certainly, the awful Reckless Love or their poppier labelmates Crazy Lixx, for example, especially because they’ve always had that punky attitude and edge to their material.

This, their fourth album, is certainly much darker than their previous efforts, and especially 2010’s last outing, ‘Generation Wild’, while at the same time also being a celebration of what the band have achieved, particularly over the past two years. While ‘Generation Wild’ suggested a make-or-break time for the band, with its edgy riffs and imminent threat of implosion, ‘TSP’ is a much more cohesive and confident affair – reflective of their previous travails but also joyous in the Stockholm quartet’s survival and development.

The album’s denser feel is immediately evident on the swirling opener ‘Change The World’, with its spoken word intro covering the slowly building riff before the songs really comes to life in a way which suggests Hanoi Rocks with a tonne of semtex rammed up their collective jacksies, which screams defiance from every pore, especially in Simon Cruz’s bitter, spitting vocal – something which is a true revelation on this opus, as the frontman is nothing short of superb throughout, urging his three bandmates in turn to up their game.

Lead single ‘Cocaine Cowboys’, built on a slide dobro riff, is very much in the Manson/Zombie mode, and it’s refrain is picked up again, albeit faster and much punkier, on ‘Anarchy’, emphasizing this outing’s much more controlled approach, as much more thought appears to have been given not only to the structure of the actual songs themselves but the album as a whole.

There are some moments of pure throwaway poppy sleaze, such as a the LA Guns meets Motley Crüe grind of ‘Sin City’, but overall the much more thoughtful approach to the likes of ‘California’, ‘Lickin’ Dog’ and ‘Drinkin’ Without You’ helps lift Crashdïet to the next level.

A surprising but gratifying 7.5/10.

1. Change The World
2. Cocaine Cowboys
3. Anarchy
4. California
5. Lickin’ Dog
6. Circus
7. Sin City
8. Got A Reason
9. Drinkin’ Without You
10. Snakes In Paradise
11. Damaged Kid
12. Excited
13. Garden Of Babylon

‘The Savage Playgound’ is released on Frontiers Records on January 25th:

Crashdïet undertake a co-headline tour with Jettblack on the following dates:

April 23rd – O2 Academy, Newcastle
April 24th – O2 Acadmey, Sheffield
April 25th – O2 Academy, Birmingham
April 26th – Rock City, Nottingham
April 27th – O2 Academy, Islington

Support on all dates comes from Fallen Mafia, Hell In The Club and Sleekstain. Tickets are available from all usual outlets.

About Mark Ashby

no longer planetmosh staff