Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Chrome Division - Booze, Broads & Beelzebub (2008)

What black metallers will get up to when left to their own devices...

The thing about dirty 80s-style hard rock is that it's made the transition into being an alive-and-well genre in the 21st century a lot better than all the hip new shit people cast it aside for in the 90s. Look at Spiritual Beggars. Alabama Thunderpussy. Grand Magus. And now, Chrome Division.

The major cited influence is, of course, Motorhead, and the foursquare, rocking riffs and gruff vocals do bear some of the Moley One's stamp. But I hear traces of WASP too, or Motley Crue in their more rocking, sleazy moments, or maybe a Simmons-fronted KISS. Oddly, the ZZ Top cover, 'Sharp-Dressed Man' is a bit of letdown. All they do is speed it up a bit and lose some of the groove.

In many ways this album feels like what The Almighty could have been if they'd managed to get their groove on this convincingly for a whole album's worth of songs. Eddie Guz' hard-rocking persona reminds me quite a bit of Ricky Warwick's throaty roar. The difference - and what makes Chrome Division work - is that the agenda here is fun. Booze, broads and Beelzebub. There's no slowing down the pace to rip out a soulful number, or a sudden integrity-seeking veer into punky aggro. It's just dirty rock n' roll from start to finish.


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