Sleazy doez it!
Pyrotechnics, tight trousers, back-combed hair, platinum vocals, gratuitous guitar solos, and sleaze if you please…this is what Sweden’s Gemini Five are all about, and even the title of this album, ‘Sex Drugs Anarchy’ let all around know it is so! The four piece Glamsters comprise of classically named members Tin Star on Vocals and Guitar, Hot Rod on Bass, Slim Pete on Drums, and new guitarist Dee Dee, and this album, the band’s third, is arguably their best yet.
Not too many bands that try to relive the Glam highs of the late ‘80’s have been able to pull it off. The Toilet Boys had a go with an Indie twist in the late ‘90’s, and fellow Swedes, Backyard Babies have added more steel and balls to the genre with ‘Making Enemies Is Good’ and ‘Stockholm Syndrome’, however the last great Glam/Sleaze album was from Alleycat Scratch in 1993, and album that was released probably about two years too late and so never reaped the success that it deserved. However, Gemini Five have produced what is probably the best Sleaze album in over ten years.
There are echoes of many of the band’s idols here, and to be honest that’s what you’d expect. The album opener, ‘Thunder & Lightening’ is pretty much an atmospheric intro with acoustic guitar and electric guitar feedback, the crowd cheers fading in before the chugging riffs of, ‘I Am Hollow’ start up. This reminds me of Motley Crue around their ‘Shout At The Devil’ era, with the Metal riffs and shouting chorus lines. This leads us to the deep bass lines, and dark lyrics of, ‘Scream 4 Me’ that sounds like Motley in the verses and Def Leppard in the chorus with a sprinkling of Hardcore Superstar thrown in for good measure!
Like all good Glam we have a slight hint of slide guitar and the odd cow-bell tap that makes my heart miss a beat, in ‘Here’s Looking At You Kid’ and once again you can’t help but notice the comparisons between the vocals of Tin Star and Vince Neil. Whilst I’ve had a chance to hear the new Motley Crue album, I do wonder whether this album sounds more like Classic Motley, than Motley themselves. ‘Pistols’ has a slight mix up of Glam ideology mixed with Wednesday 13 vocals, hiding out around this unofficial tribute album!
The title track, ‘Sex Drugs Anarchy’ has big riffs that will have you nodding you head of hair to the beat whilst you air guitar, however it just misses the target at being a real anthem song, whilst ‘Lay Your Money Down’ mixes a great bass line reminiscent of Motley’s ‘Primal Scream’, before a riff that could be the cousin of Mick Mars’ ‘Shout At The Devil’ riff, and whilst the verse is rocking, the chorus feels like an anti-climax…shame. ‘Here 2Day Gone 2Morrow’ is a mediocre Glam by numbers, whilst ‘Something’s Gotta Give’ could be on an ‘80’s film soundtrack and could’ve been left over form the ‘Girls, Girls, Girls’ sessions. One of the real highlight’s is, ‘Blood On The Bricks’ which is a hard-rockin’-fist-punpin’-head-noddin’-foot-tappin’ anthem of a tune. We have big riffs, beats larger than a centrefolds bra, and a catchy chorus mixing RATT and Cinderella.
Nearing the end of the album we have ‘We Do Not Come In Peace’ that sound’s a little like Pretty Boy Floyd jammin’ with Bang Tango, and the power ballad of, ‘Stay With Me’ that is a little like Slaughter from ‘The Wild Life’ album, and ends the album nicely.