To be released on March 3, 2023 (Razorbats)
Two years on from the release of their Mainline Rock ‘N’ Roll album, Norway’s Razorbats have spent that time touring and special guesting on shows by the likes of Danko Jones, The Offspring and The Wildhearts whilst crafting their latest album, which features songs primarily about the problems generally faced by being in a rock ‘n’ roll band constantly on tour.
They are of course by no means the first band to use this as a premise for a collection of songs and I’m pretty certain they won’t be the last, but the witty, ironic opener “(Maybe It’s Time To) Break Up The Band” illustrates an irreverent but infectious attitude to start proceedings off nicely. The rather explanatory “Only In America” is another radio friendly chant-along with some very fine band harmonies, that are a fairly constant — and a very welcome — feature of most of the songs here including the poppy “Atomic” (not the Blondie song) and the slightly dirtier but no less appealing “Shotgun Wedding”. The mid-tempo “Edie” has more than a blatant reference to the Pretty Boy Floyd song “I Wanna Be With You” which I hope is as respectful as it sounds.
“Love Is For Suckers” is a tough fist pumping anthem that put me in mind of Steeve Jaimz in his finest post-Tigertailz period, whilst “Scandinavian Girls” is a nice melodic homage to their homeland ladies. The ever so slightly sleazy “Damn She Looks Good” is already my favourite track on the album, whilst flowing neatly into another gang styled rocker “Kiss Me” and ending with the nostalgic and wistful ballad “Seventeen” that is surely the perfect lighter waving show closer.
The production is clear and the twin guitars of Kjetil F. Wevling and Asle Tunglen are flawless throughout, and the same can of course be said for Martin Karsgaard’s bass and Christian Hapnes Svendsen’s drums, providing the solid foundation. Paul E. Vercouteren’s vocals are perfectly pitched throughout the entire album with the aforementioned band harmonies adding a delicious touch to almost every song.
The Razorbats band members have obviously had an enjoyably productive time revisiting great ’80s bands on those long, touring journeys as influences from the likes of Danger Danger, Poison, Dangerous Toys and the previously stated Pretty Boy Floyd are all audibly evident here, alongside more modern devotees such as Midnite City and even Crazy Lixx. In short, there isn’t a duff song on here and is in actual fact, it’s 40 minutes of pure ’80s inspired pleasure! Time to break up the band? Certainly not when you can produce an album this joyous and celebratory.
01. (Maybe It’s Time To) Break Up The Band
02. Only In America
04. Shotgun Wedding
06. Love Is For Suckers
07. Scandinavian Girls
08. Damn She Looks Good
09. Kiss Me
Paul E. Vercouteren – vocals
Kjetil F. Wevling – guitar
Asle Tunglen – guitar
Martin Karsgaard Hervig – bass
Christian Hapnes Svendsen – drums
Reviewed by Rockney Colin for Sleaze Roxx, February 2023
Razorbats‘ “(Maybe It’s Time To) Break Up The Band” video: