SPREADING LIKE WILDFIRE
Released May 27, 2011 (Rambo Music)
CD Track List:
01. Calling Me Back
03. The Catalyst
05. No Friend Of Mine
07. Bring In The Wine
08. Sold My Soul
10. If You Could See
11. Loosing My Mind
12. What I Am
Lukas Landero – vocals and guitar
Magnus Wahlberg – guitar
Tobbe Skogh – bass
Johan Helgesson – drums
The Swedish sleaze scene is still going strong, but heavyweights such as Crashdiet, Hardcore Superstar and Crazy Lixx were relatively quiet in 2011 when it came to releasing new music. That left the door wide open for newcomers The Itch, who quickly proved a force to be reckoned with on their debut Spreading Like Wildfire.
Whereas the majority of hungry young Swedish bands seem content on rehashing the look and sound of the influential Crashdiet, The Itch distance themselves from that scene by taking a no-frills approach to hard rock. By mixing KISS inspired anthems with explosive southern rock and a hint of soul makes for a musical cocktail that goes down smooth while dropping you to your knees.
Spreading Like Wildfire does just as the title suggests — this is no slow or controlled burn, it’s a raging inferno from the opening “Calling Me Back”, which is a three minute lesson in kick-ass groove-laden hard rock. The following “Action” sounds like Gene Simmons fronting an amphetamine driven Molly Hatchet — just the thought of that combination may cause several people to dry-heave, but trust me, it works! “The Catalyst” takes much the same approach, but perfects it, and peaks with a short-burst of Lynyrd Skynyrd styled fretwork fury.
As great as those tracks are, and the almost flawless ones that follow, for me there are two songs that stand head and tails above the rest. The first is “Sold My Soul”, a killer straight-forward boot-stompin’ number with a chorus we can all join in on. If members of The Itch did in fact sell their souls in exchange for this gem, I say they made a hell of a trade. Even better is “Loosing My Mind”, a track that conjures up the voice of The Cult‘s Ian Astbury during the verses and gruff blues-based rockers during the chorus. Everything, and I do mean everything, on this track works — and aside from the acoustic “Mother”, the same can be said for the entire album.
The Itch offer not only a fresh take on the Swedish rock scene with Spreading Like Wildfire, but also an exceptional debut album. Fun, engaging, high-energy and unrelenting… Spreading Like Wildfire is not only a breath of fresh air, but has upped the musical ante once again. With bands like The Itch clawing their way through the hard rock ranks, those that currently sit amongst the genre’s thrones should watch their backs… because a ‘fire’ is threatening to change the musical landscape.
www.theitch.se – www.facebook.com/pages/The-Itch/47987338242 – www.rambomusic.se
Reviewed by Skid for Sleaze Roxx, January 2012