December 06, 2017

Casablanca - Apocalyptic Youth (2012)

Country: Sweden
Language: English
Genre: Hard Rock
Style: Melodic Hard Rock
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© 2012 Rocket Songs
Review by Denys for
Although small and relatively new, the Swedish record label Rocket Songs has released a good few albums already and with bands like Houston and Sencelled on their roster, now they welcome another band Casablanca this time to the bill. The hard rock sleaze Swedish movement has been on a prowl in the last few years, and while is not a huge commercial success in their own country of Sweden, it still remains an underground local scene favorite, and the quality of the bands from there is always something to admire.
Casablanca are an interesting group, you have the talented drummer Josephine Forsman from Sahara Hotnights, their charismatic lead singer Anders Ljung who looks like part of that 80’s stereotypical glam/rock child from that time. And last but not least is the former Alice Cooper guitarist Ryan Roxie, who brings as much experience as he’s own distinct guitar tone and sharpness to the forefront. The band spent the last few years writing new music with the help of Chris Laney, who ended up producing this new record as well.
The hardest challenge for me was not to decide if the music was good or not, but rather how to categorize the band turned out to be a more formidable challenge. One one hand you have the slower rockier tunes like self title song which comes across as more modern rock then anything, but then you have more tongue and cheek action like the excellent “The Juggler” which sounds like a perfect little number that could get a good amount of radio play on more mainstream rock stations. I couldn’t bare to fall into the trap of comparing the song “Rich Girl” into something more closely assembled by a band like “My Chemical Romance” with a nice classic rock edge, very catchy tune.
Keeping the album with a good mix of variation going, the more Hard Rock anthem of “Love and Desperation” is a killer tune with a different kind of groove featuring a super addicting chorus enforcing it’s groove. The crackling fun doesn’t stop here as another moving chorus catches your breath, just to give you enough space to digest a simple yet melodic guitar riff by Roxie.
This is a pretty cool band that has some serious diversity in it’s music and songwriting skills. Is not all full on assault like other Glam/Metal bands in the genre, they have some nice tempo paced tunes with interesting riffs and vibes that could appeal to the common listener. A big cheers goes to the band’s lead singer Anders Ljung who with a very recognizable voice think of a younger Tom Petty meets Stephen Pearcy, here he holds the glue together for the core of the band’s sound. It helps that Laney was involved in the production as the sound is sharp and glistening with clear sharpness. An interesting early release in the Hard Rock category with a long year to go let’s see if this album will hold water later down the line. As for fans of good fun written melodic hard rock, you should check these guys out as they have something definitely mature and dissonant to offer.

tags: casablanca, apocalyptic youth, 2012, flac,


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