I just got CRUCIFIED BARBARA’S fourth album In the Red (out now, Despotz Records) and I think this may be their most complete work to date. The blend of heavy metal and hard rock works very well, and the songs are hooky enough that there are several sure-fire hit singles here. Hailing from Sweden, this all-female group completely asserts itself and leaves no question as to whether or not they can rock with the boys. There is also an L.A. Sunset Strip vibe to the band and the songs would surely be the perfect setting for someone to throw back some shots in a dirty bar.
Opener “I Sell My Kids for Rock ‘N’ Roll” has a four-on-the-floor sleazy/ballsy vibe letting you know these gals didn’t come here to dick around. Single “To Kill a Man” touches on the nasty subject of rape and has a TON of attitude. Once you know what it’s about it tends to stay with you, which is both good and not-so-good. I was immediately taken with “Electric Sky” because it has such a vibe reminiscent of mid-80’s THE CULT. This one definitely rang out in my head for hours afterward. Vocalist/guitarist Mia Coldheart is really the perfect person to sing these songs; she has just the right amount of rasp combined with melody that you can’t help but want to buy her and the rest of the band a shot when all is said and done.
“The Ghost Inside” is another song with a very hummable guitar line and may boast some of the catchiest singing on the record. For the title track the band employs a deeper, chunkier riff pattern and it’s pretty thick all around. Bassist Ida Evileye, guitarist Klara Force and drummer Nicki Wicked give it their all and the result is a bombastic and anthemic number. Same goes for “Shadows.” This one’s a definite driving song. We get kind of a dirty boogie for “Finders Keepers” and “Do You Want Me” boasts some IRON MAIDEN-worthy patterns mixed with more of that L.A. formula. “Lunatic #1” is another one that takes me back to the old days but it’s good, not great. A similar fate befalls “Don’t Call on Me”; it’s fast and loud, but not really memorable.
The album ends on a high-speed note with “Follow the Stream” which was one of the songs that stuck out most. At the end of the day the ladies in CRUCIFIED BARBARA have put out a very good album, one I’m sure will garner them some new fans while not alienating the old ones. They are certainly capable of reeling you in. Whether or not they can keep you there is really up to you. Is it groundbreaking? No, not even close. But is it fun? Absolutely. So pop In the Red in your car and rock out, my friends. It’s the weekend and you’ve earned it!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “Follow the Stream”, “I Sell My Kids for Rock ‘N’ Roll”, “Electric Sky”, “The Ghost Inside”, “Finders Keepers”