LIVE IN SLEAZE
Released in November 2017 (Dïet Records)
Unlike many bands that are on their fourth official lead vocalist, Crashdïet‘s legacy seems to increase rather than diminish with time. Sure, the group’s momentum keeps taking a beating with the change in singers every couple of (or more) years but there is an almost mythical aura to the group because of this. The recent buzz about Crashdïet‘s newest lead vocalist Gabriel Keyes is certainly proof in that regard. Putting aside the group’s growing legacy, the reality is that Crashdïet have had to endure a lot of tragedies and heartaches when it comes to their singers. Keyes‘ predecessor Simon Cruz inexplicably walked out on the band while it was in the midst of a mini-tour in Japan back in early 2015. Singer Olliver Twisted parted ways with the band in July 2018 after only one and a half years and one studio album electing to continue with his band Reckless Love rather than Crashdïet. And of course the ultimate tragedy occurred on January 20, 2006 when the group’s first frontman and founder Dave Lepard committed suicide at the age of 25 just as the band was riding the wave of its sublime debut album Rest In Sleaze.
Sleaze Roxx was admittedly late to the party with respect to its appreciation of 2005’s Rest In Sleaze as its review of the album only came in early 2008. I suspect that had Sleaze Roxx heard and considered Rest In Sleaze back in 2005, it would have likely been near the top of its year end list just like 2010’s Generation Wild which ended up number one on Sleaze Roxx’s Top Ten Albums of 2010. I myself only picked up Rest In Sleaze a couple of years ago but was instantly impressed by the record and have been playing it on a regular basis ever since. This takes me to the release of Live In Sleaze, which is the only multitrack recording of Crashdïet with Lepard at the helm that apparently exists. Given that this is the case and despite the stellar mixing job that Chris Laney and Martin Sweet undoubtedly did to bring Live In Sleaze to life for everyone, the live recording sounds a bit rough around the edges in terms of Lepard‘s singing and the overall recording quality. However, it does sound like a real live performance with presumably no overdubs from the singer since he did pass away almost 12 years ago!
There are only ten songs on Live In Sleaze with the album clocking at only around 37 minutes but it’s a power packed performance from a young and hungry band. You can really feel the energy and rawness of the performance. I love the intro to the live album: “Alright motherfuckers. Are you ready for Crash “Fucking” Dïet. It’s simple but effective and reminds me a bit of KISS‘ infamous live intro “You wanted the best, you got the best. The hottest band in the world — KISS!” but with a whole lot of explicits. I also really like that Lepard addresses the crowd in a foreign language (Swedish I assume) which gives it a real foreign flavour to it to my ears. Crashdïet‘s setlist is obviously heavy on the Rest In Sleaze album with eight of the ten tracks from that album being played live. Surprisingly, the Rest In Sleaze opener “Knokk ‘Em Down” is not part of the setlist. There are two covers in the setlist — The Misfits‘ “Angelfuck” and Guns N’ Roses‘ “Chinese Democracy.” What’s quite interesting about the latter is that the album Chinese Democracy was only released years later in November 2008. Then again, with all the delays that occurred with the release of Guns N’ Roses‘ Chinese Democracy, it’s likely that everyone and their cat had an advance bootleg copy of the album. I know that I certainly did. Apparently, Crashdïet did as well and their version of the title track is a grittier more stripped down version, which I prefer over Guns N’ Roses‘ more polished version.
Overall, although the recording is a bit rough around the edges, it’s amazing to be taken back in time to Crashdïet‘s beginnings and hear the band playing live with Lepard handling the lead vocals. What I would really like to see — and assuming that Crashdïet have these recordings available somewhere — is to have the sleaze rockers release a live album with each of their four official singers handling the lead vocals. Yes, I am jumping the gun on a live album with Keyes given that the latter will only be making his live debut on March 30th of this year but how cool would it be to have three more live albums from Crashdïet with Olly, Cruz and Keyes giving their live renditions of past Crashdïet material along with some songs from their respective studio albums. One can only hope that this man’s dream becomes a reality! You can pick up Live In Sleaze directly from the band via its Dïet Records label.
02. Breakin’ The Chainz
03. Queen Obscene
04. Riot In Everyone
06. It’s A Miracle
07. Out Of Line
08. Chinese Democracy
09. Back On Trakk
10. Straight Outta Hell
Dave Shepard – lead vocals, guitar
Martin Sweet – guitar
Peter London – bass
Eric Young – drums
Mixed by Chris Laney and Martin Sweet
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, January 2018
Crashdïet‘s new live album Live In Sleaze:
Buy Live in Sleaze: http://bit.ly/liveinsleaze Back in 2005 we made a mess everywhere we went. We were the first sleaze rock act in decades to get signed directly to a major label. In support of our critically acclaimed and charting debut album “Rest in sleaze”, we toured every small venue in Sweden.