Crashdiet – The Savage Playground



Review by Robert Baker

The Savage Playground from Crashdiet is an album of L.A. sleaze soaked vibe ripped straight from the heart of a street corner hustler in faded jeans and knock-off Gucci’s. Having formed in 2000 in Stockholm these Swedish rockers have already undergone the rigours and rites of passage associated with a touring band, overcoming tragedy and uncertainty to re-emerge as true successors  of the glam-rock scene.

Wearing the heart of its influences proudly on its sleeve, The Savage Playground styling’s familiar to any fan familiar with Skid Row or Motley Crue yet still managing to be unique to the band, and quite possibly their most complete and  confident sounding album to date. Writ big and played loud across thirteen tracks the album builds on the 2010 effort Generation Wild to culminate in an album that perhaps truly represents the band as being future stadium fillers in their own right.

Album opener ‘Change The World’ shows-off the groups well-founded confidence superbly, with a heady mix of style and rhythm  that manages to captivate your attention through subtle changes in pace and sudden explosions of riffage. A more engaging beginning than most for sure, with following number ‘Cocaine Cowboys’ offering a reflective acoustic intro before the thick groove of beating drums and palm-muted lead bring you back into the fray once more. ‘California’ feels like KISS should be sending in their lawyers to investigate, the captivating hands-above-heads-and-clapping-in-rhythm moment the painted rockers were known for executed with the flawless delivery of a song looking for a crowd to infect. ‘Lickin’ Dog’ returns the album back to straight out rock, with ‘Circus’ and ‘Sin City’ in particular standing out as the best tracks on the album and worthy of several repeat plays by themselves.

‘Drinkin’ Without You’, however, is possibly destined to be the forgotten song on the album, more low-key and less memorable for it than the other tracks on The Savage Playground.  Away from the album, it’s certainly a well-produced and well-executed song, almost has the feel of that of a garage band, and something you’d accept as perfectly solid if delivered on its own; it just feels lost when amongst all the other songs on the album. More so when followed by ‘Snakes In Paradise’, a hypnotic hip-swinger of a song that drips the temptation of sin and sleaze and plenty of both. ‘Excited’ brings us back into the stadium once more, and another inspiring anthem for the crowds to unite and sing along with come festival time further entrenches Crashdiet’s reputation of being able to string a big number together, and with the most memorable chorus saved for the ‘Garden Of Babylon’ ringing in your head as the song leads the album out there is a lot to recommend to any appreciator of Brides of Destruction.

Crashdiet Savage-Playground7 out of 10

Track listing:

  1. Change The World
  2. Cocaine Cowboys
  3. Anarchy
  4. California
  5. Lickin’ Dog
  6. Circus
  7. Sin City
  8. Got A Reason
  9. Drinkin Without You
  10. Snakes In Paradise
  11. Damaged Kid
  12. Excited
  13. Garden Of Babylon