|Posted on August 22, 2014 at 12:15 AM|
Vanity BLVD – Wicked Temptation
Written by The Rock Man
I’m not sure whether it is just me but has American hard rock/metal lost it’s identity over the past couple of decades? It once had a definitive look and sound about it in the 1980s that was unmatched by anyone. Sex, drugs and rock n’ roll was the battle cry, sadly these days that no long appears to be the case. Where bands like Ratt, Motley Crue, Keel and the like used to rule their domain, they have been replaced with Korn and Slipknot. Strangely the spirit of 80s hard rock has been embraced by a new breed of European bands that refuse to let the genre fade into obscurity, one band doing there part is Swedish hard rockers Vanity BLVD.
For those not familiar with Vanity BLVD they formed in 2005 by lead vocalist Anna Savage and at-the-time bassist Roxxy and quickly developed a solid fan base playing the local music scene. The band would sign with Gain Music Entertainment/Sony BMG and would enter the studio to record their debut album Rock N’ Roll Overdose with producer Chris Laney (Europe, Crash Diet) which would be released in 2008. It has been a long and patient wait for their second album to be delivered but finally in 2014 Vanity BLVD return with the triumphant Wicked Temptation.
From the get-go let’s be clear, Wicked Temptation is pure, uncompromising, no apologies, 80s hard rock. If (like me) you are still living with your head in the 1980s you will love this cd, everything that was great musically about that decade is on full display here. The album opens up with a power punch from the Ratt-esque Dirty Rat, followed by Miss Dangerous where the seductive Savage declares “Miss dangerous/Dirty thrills/I’m your wicked temptation/Here I am!”. Do Or Die is one of many highlight on this record that features a wicked early 80s style chunky guitar riff accompanied with a very melodic chorus which you will be sing to yourself for days on end. The Motley Crue/Ratt/Poison/L.A. Guns comparisons continue with the tracks Hot Teaser, Soulshaker, Scream Out and Dirty Action. In an attempt to show that they are capable of changing things up every now and then the album features Falling Down, which has a more laid back feel to it and brought thoughts of Warrant in ballad mode to mind.
In terms of the musicianship Vanity BLVD are very well led by Savage on vocals and guitarist Traci Trexx who are the only two original members of the band. Joining them on bass and drums are Pete Ash and Gebb, respectively. Ash and Gebb are a solid pairing and hit the sweet spot track after track while Trexx could possibly be the genre’s best kept secret and then there is Savage who sings with enormous passion, energy and charisma.
While Vanity BLVD flies the flag for the vibe, attitude and excitement of the 80s Sunset Strip sound and culture, Wicked Temptation is simply an audio feast for the ears and an absolute must have for anyone who has fond memories of those halcyon days of hard rock and metal.
Categories: Album Reviews