Crashdïet

Generation Wild

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Crashdiet are usually labeled "glam metal," not "glam rock," and this is an important distinction, because, for all its slickness, love of the '80s, and eye-watering fashion statements, the band has more substance than the average retro rockers 20 years late to sing about getting laid like David Coverdale. Generation Wild is closer to W.A.S.P. instead, and late-period W.A.S.P. at that -- which means this is still catchy hard rock with licks to die for, but it also has a dose of angst that may not necessarily make it really mature, but certainly elevates it above the status of party fodder. The fact that the band is monstrously adept at its thing doesn't hurt, either: Crashdiet even manage to have something of their own sound despite being shameless imitators -- you'll hear elements of Def Leppard, Mötley Crüe, Bon Jovi, and many others, but Generation Wild balances the rowdiness, the serious attitude, and the crass commercialism in proportions that no one seems to have nailed before, and Crashdiet do it using riffs that rank among the best in the style. Moreover, while the album is nostalgic, it's never silly like a glam record is expected to be: instead of sounding like a bunch of street hooligans trying to appear world-wise, the band creates something of a post-grunge vibe on Generation Wild: self-conscious, critical, almost grim. This is an obvious coincidence, as the record is still old-school hard rock to the bone, but it's also an amusing illustration of how the style could have survived the plague of alternative music in the '90s simply by adding more genuine earnestness to its top-notch hooks. The idea came too late, but it's still worth investigating.

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