VARIOUS ARTISTS – Glamnation Vol. 1

VARIOUS ARTISTS - Glamnation Vol. 1
  • 8/10
    VARIOUS ARTISTS - Glamnation Vol. 1 - 8/10


272 Records
Release Date: July 31, 2007

User Review
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Rumors of a Glam compilation began circulating the Internet about six months ago. Finally, 272 Records has released Glamnation Vol. 1, featuring 23 songs from as many different bands. All bands are unsigned and Glamnation Vol. 1 acts as a sort of modern-day showcase for multi-national acts to get airplay.

The Glam bands come from all over the globe, and of course Sweden is well represented as is the U.K.

The album opens with Silver Trigger and “Bourbon Street,” but really picks up steam with Molotow’s “Beam Me Up (for Glam & Glory).” Glory indeed. This song implores all the production tricks of Bon Jovi’s School of Glam, including a wailing guitar and a voice box for distortion. (Think “Livin’ on a Prayer.” You know you love it!). Sweden’s Random Riot is next with “Speed Blind.” This song is on the deeper end of Glam, with grittier vocals and toned-down guitars.

Female-fronted Rock bands are more common today than back in the 1980s. Germany’s Rocket Uppercut provides “Smashing On Love” for their contribution to Glamnation Vol. 1. Unfortunately, the vocals are a little startling for this sort of collection. While Glam Metal is typically known for clear, soaring lyrics, “Smashing on Love” has vocals more in line with Metalcore. True Glam fans may skip this track.

Sweden’s Pretty Wild provides the party anthem “Dangerous.” This may be the best track on Glamnation Vol. 1. The riffs are catchy, the vocals are just edgy enough, and the track starts with a nice musical interlude, a la classic RATT.

The Hollywood Vampires sound more Bowie-era Glam than stars of the Sunset Strip, but maybe that’s because they are from Oslo, Norway and not La La Land. They provide a lovely tune called “Dead Girl.” Clearly the influences here are the Murderdolls or another band that likes to sing about dead lovers. The music itself is just ok, but the band’s clear enthusiasm makes the song catchy.

Switzerland’s Bitch Queens sound a little like the New York Dolls in a modern way. “Lover Boy” is decidedly European, with a certain air of superiority. The syncopated rhythms make this song listenable, and help keep the pace despite odd background ad libs. Italy’s Plaster Caster’s are next, obviously influenced by KISS. “Like It Like That” is a good track, with impossibly high notes and great writing. Sure, the band isn’t creating anything new here, but that’s ok when the past works.

Jagged hail from Sweden, and provide a slower-paced rocker for the compilation. This is rare for Swedish Glam bands: most go straight for the gusto with fast guitars and Stadium Rock anthems. “Wake Up” works, though, even with the slower pace and Led Zeppelin-like quality. A power trio with “cut the crap” as a motto, Jagged might be just what the Rock Doctor ordered when it comes to new bands with a reverence for the past.

Hollywood is always a popular theme for Glam bands. After all, the Sunset Strip spawned Motley Crue, Poison, and RATT. It’s no surprise, then, that Sweden’s Midnight Cowboys added a song to Glamnation Vol. 1 called “Hollywood BLVD.” It’s your typical Sex, Drugs, and Rock ‘n’ Roll fare: the dirtier the better. Again, you’ve probably heard this before, but that doesn’t mean “Hollywood BLVD” is hackneyed – just familiar.

Lipstixx ‘N Bulletz are also from Sweden, providing the sweet track “Love In A Needle.” This song is more introspective than most on Glamnation Vol. 1. Instead of sex, the major theme here is obviously drug abuse. The good news is that the song isn’t preachy, but raunchy, as all Glam must be. Yes, Germany has Glam bands, just not as many as Sweden. Love Dictator’s “Anyone But You” sounds like an odd hybrid between Ozzy Osbourne and Pretty Boy Floyd, but somehow it works.

Track number 13 is reserved for Dirty Little Thing of the U.K. “Where Is He Now” utilizes the same undercurrent as Motley Crue’s “Dr. Feelgood,” but the vocals are whineier than Vince Neil’s (if that’s even possible), and you can definitely hear a British accent. If you’re not into ballads, skip “Saturday Night At The Drive In” by Jason Takes Manhattan. Sweden’s Major Scandals turn up the pace again with “Out To Shock,” a pleasing tune with a nice guitar solo and surprisingly baritone vocals. Also from Sweden is Leaded Fuel, providing a track by the same name. This band has a more polished sound than many others on Glamnation Vol. 1. It’s pretty clear these boys like Hanoi Rocks and the New York Dolls, but there are definite Guns N’ Roses influences as well. The tempo and key changes are unique, which help keep the track interesting. UK rockers Puredecay provide “Save Me,” which is really more of the same. Here, the drums seem to override the vocals, making the song a little hard to enjoy.

Silver Dirt perform “Wasted Dream” for the compilation. Again, poor production plagues the track. Since all bands are unsigned, it’s pretty clear that money is an object when it comes to recording demos. “Wasted Dream” could be a great song with some small tweaks and a seasoned producer twiddling the knobs.

Australia’s Live Wire provides “Burn.” No, the band is not a Motley Crue tribute act, but there is a scary similarity to the Crue’s “Live Wire” and the guitar parts that cut through “Burn.” In this respect, “Burn” isn’t unique, but it is more than listenable and a good effort for a new band seeking label representation. Sweden’s Panzer Princess has been working the Myspace circuit for quite some time now. Despite an unsigned status, the band has thousands of “friends,” many of which claim to love “Get Off My Back.” The track provides classic Rock themes: hatred of the average 9 to 5 job, and the desire to be a musician. Panzer Princess is a bit of power quartet, with a feel sound that teeters dangerously on the edge of alternative. The guitars save this possible injustice, however, and it’s pretty clear that Panzer Princess will end up with a recording deal soon enough.

As Glamnation Vol. 1 winds down, U.K.-based S.E.X. performs “Rock Star.” This song is so David Bowie, it might as well just be Bowie. There isn’t anything new here. In fact, it sounds like S.E.X. is trying to karaoke the 70s Glam god. Unless you really like David Bowie covers, skip this track.

Glamnation Vol. 1 closes with Knyght’s “Stop Me.” This band is unique for a variety of reasons. First, Knyght spell their name in accordance with Olde English. Second, they use a whole lot of synthesizers and end up sounding more like Duran Duran than Danger Danger, and finally the lead (male) singer sounds like Blondie. The track is short, and somehow this perfect storm of nonsense actually works to create a good sound. The producers of Glamnation Vol. 1 did an excellent job of finding the best unsigned talent in the Rock world. Now, music fans can look forward to Volume II!


  • Allyson B. Crawford

    Allyson was a reviewer here at Metal Express Radio, based out of Kettering, Ohio, USA. She works as a journalist at a local television station, and has a Graduate Degree in Rhetoric and an Undergraduate Degree in English with an emphasis on British Literature. She also owns and operates, a website dedicated to the Glam Metal movement. Her first Glam tape was Poison’s Open Up and Say … Ahh! She got the cassette for Christmas when she was in fourth grade. Her passion lies somewhere between the bars and notes that created the soundtrack to the never ending Rock 'n' Roll party that was the '80s. She considers Aerosmith's Rocks and Mötley Crüe's Shout At The Devil her all-time favorite albums.

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