September 9, 2019 Crashdïet – Rust (Album Review)
Crashdïet has made their name in the sleaze. Literally. This Swedish Metal outfit pride themselves on cultivating a sound and style known as ‘Sleaze Metal.’ Think the filth of ’80s Hair Metal tinged with grungy guitars and a hint of Sludge Metal influence.
Hailing from Stockholm, Sweden, the men of Crashdïet have been ripping up stages and airways since the early 2000s. Currently comprised of Martin Sweet (lead guitar and backing vocals), Peter London (bass and backing vocals), Eric Young (drums and backing vocals), and Gabriel Keyes (lead vocals), the band is set to release their fifth studio album, Rust, on Friday, September 13th, 2019 via Frontiers Music srl.
The first album to feature Keyes as lead vocals since he replaced former frontman, Simon Cruz, when Cruz departed in 2015, title-track “Rust” introduces us to the chugging and rumble of a double bass drum that has “Welcome to the Jungle” vibes but with more heft. What makes this a great opening track is that for fans of Crashdïet this picks up right where they left off. This song is so perfectly in their wheelhouse that it flows effortlessly and could just as easily have made its home on 2005’s Rest in Sleaze or 2010’s Generation Wild. However, there is the distinction of the core of this song and its message of persistence, determination, and being the exception not the rule when it comes to outshining the competition. With the addition of Keyes vocals in place of Cruz brings a note of darkness, depth, and intensity in this and all the other songs on the album.
“Into the Wild” has similar energy as “Rust” when it comes to being Crashdïet branded, but in the chorus is where things get a lift. The echoic and effervescent quality of the chorus is what gives this song moments of refreshment and intrigue. Plus the dual axe-wielding powers of Peter London and Martin Sweet, especially in the bridge, where their guitar and bass play off one another with such ease they swiftly carry the listener through the song before they know it. In “Idiots’ the band dares us to explore the world around us through a different lens and be critical of how aware of not only our society but of ourselves. Do you dare bow to the opinions of others or do you take your life by the horns go for broke? That is the question.
“In The Maze” is a ballad addressing what it feels like to get so lost in the noise and little things in life that you get separated from the one you love- emotionally and physically- and the many different paths you can take to find your way back. Released as the first single from Rust in August, this track has some of the most heart on the album. It’s all about taking your share of the blame when things go wrong and working to turn the next corner and hopefully find your way back to the one you lost, but only if you’re both working to make it through.
While most of the album is the product of Bassist Martin Sweet’s production talents, there are two songs that came to be thanks to some outside help. Thanks to the collaborative efforts of Chris Laney and Eric Bazilian we have “We Are The Legion,” and “Parasite,” respectively. Laney has worked with the guys before on previous releases including their infamous single “Riot in Everyone” on their debut album Rest in Sleaze. If Bazilian’s name sounds familiar it may be due to his impressive resume of having worked with the likes of Joan Osborne, Scorpions, Bon Jovi, Cyndi Lauper, and Patty Smyth.
This information provided, “Parasite” laments a relatable tale of finding that one person who worms their way under your skin and once there they begin to drain your very essence. It’s all about acknowledging and railing against playing host to a user and reclaiming your independence without this person who only knows how to ‘feed’ on others. Following such a strong stance comes a softer perspective on missing affection. Then “Waiting For Your Love” is an anthem of longing and love lost that ebbs and swells with such grandeur and drama that it swallows you whole. Waves of sound and sorrow and regret crash throughout this dramatic ballad.
Nearing the end of the album comes “Stop Weirding Me Out” and “Filth & Flowers.” The first of these two come with some C.C. Deville-esque guitar riffing and classic ’80s Metal vibes. Ever think you know someone and then they start to change and acting differently and you know something’s up? That’s the vibe of this song. Wrapping it all up is “Filth & Flowers” which true to its title is equal parts lovely and gritty. That is actually the overall theme of this entire album- the lovely and the complicated, the truth and the lies, the heart of the old with new energy.
Crashdïet obviously isn’t reinventing the wheel with their stylistic borrowings from the classic ’80s Metal essence we know and love, but the energy and effort they put into it is what make this their own. They aren’t regurgitating the exact same riffs and chords and calling it special, like scientists in a lab they’re finding new combinations and experimenting with sounds and messages to paint their own picture using a familiar palette.
If this where an album of covers or cheesy power ballads with the same recycled breakdowns and orchestrations, it would be a different story- a worse story, but different. Thankfully, if nothing else, Crashdïet knows how to make things fun and differentiated from their predecessors enough to keep it interesting and keep you listening. For energy, intrigue, and consistency Cryptic Rock gives Crashdïet’s Rust 4 out of 5 stars.