Released on March 31, 2020 (Sliptrick Records)
I have to give a big ‘Thank you’ to Sleaze Roxx contributor Jerzy Nykiel because if it wasn’t for his interview with Norwegian rockers Notörious back in April 2023, I would have continued to be in the dark about one of the best new bands out there. I wasn’t totally in the dark before Jerzy‘s interview with the Notörious band members since I had posted news articles about both their debut EP Seducer and their subsequent full-length effort Glamorized but I have to confess that I hadn’t really listened to the group’s songs that attentively. In fact, I specifically recall not being able to find a video on YouTube for any of the tracks on Glamorized. Of course, I didn’t know or realize that the five songs on Notörious‘ debut EP Seducer were also included on their full-length record Glamorized and that there was a lyric video for the track “Friday Night (Get Ready)” which apparently got shortened to “Friday Night” for the full-length effort.
While “editing” and putting Jerzy‘s interview onto the Sleaze Roxx website, I was listening to some of Notörious‘ live tracks that they had on their YouTube page and I must say that I was really digging them. So much so that I purchased Notörious‘ album Glamorized and have been playing it every day for at least one month ever since the CD finally arrived at the Sleaze Roxx headquarters. The music itself from the songs has a very ’80s feel to it without sounding dated, which is obviously quite important in this day and age. You’ve certainly heard this before for other records but all of the songs on this album range from good to great, and there isn’t one track that I ever think to bypass and that includes the “softer” tracks such as “Have A Good Time” and “Summer Nights.” Normally, I might be inclined to skip those two latter tracks but they are so well done and really capture that ’80s hard rock vibe.
The two standouts — let’s make that three standouts — for me are the opening track “Gunnerside” which is the perfect start to a rocking album and where singer Chris Höudini hits some impressive high notes singing wise, “Notörious” with its simple yet great guitar riff upon which the song is based off, and “Run For Your Life” which always sticks out each time that I listen to the album. Again, although I have singled out those three songs, there really isn’t one weak track on Glamorized. Admittedly, Höudini‘s vocals might not be everyone’s cup of tea but I have always enjoyed singing in slightly accented English and that’s the case here with the Notörious singer. Guitarist Nikki DiCato delivers some great and memorable solos throughout the album. Check out in particular his solo on “I Walked In.” The rhythm section of bassist Andy Sweet and drummer Freddy Kixx does a solid job as well.
One thing that I wish the band would get away from is copying Mötley Crüe a little too much from the umlauts on their band name, to their Seducer EP cover, to up to a certain extent some of the songs off their latest record Glamorized. The good news is that Notörious are leaning towards a somewhat different style with darker lyrics and riffs for their next record so hopefully, they will get away a little bit from their Mötley Crüe influences. The bad news is that DiCato told Jerzy that Notörious plan on incorporating some “growling” type vocals on their next record so it might be just be that Glamorized will be the high point for the band. I am going to try to keep an open mind but “growling” vocals are never, ever a good thing.
If I had to go back and redo the Sleaze Roxx’s Top Ten Albums of 2020 (which was a bit of a weak year for new releases) knowing what I know now about how good Glamorized really is, I would probably rank the album at #4 for that year. Yeah, Glamorized is that good. I wish that I had given the album a proper listen in 2020 but better late than never! Perhaps Glamorized was just one of the many albums that got overlooked due to that awful Covid pandemic and the repercussions that ensued.
02. Flying High
04. Have A Good Time
05. Friday Night
06. I Walked In
07. Run For Your Life
09. Summer Nights
10. Tonight (Gonna Get It)
Chris Höudini – lead vocals
Nikki DiCato – guitar
Andy Sweet – bass
Freddy Kixx – drums
Mixed and mastered by Dag Erik Nygaard
Reviewed by Olivier for Sleaze Roxx, June 2023
Notörious‘ “Friday Night (Get Ready)” lyric video: