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Crash Street Kids - 'Sweet Creatures' (code 7) 5/5

I gotta confess I was really nervous about receiving and reviewing this album. You see Arizona sleaze fueled retro rockers Crash Street Kids have a very special place in my heart. Our paths crossed just when the BCFM was first launching, they sent me a copy of their second album, Chemical Dogs, and I fell in love with their good old fashioned down and dirty tarnished glam rock approach.I played it almost non stop both on air and for my own entertainment. The more I played the more I liked it, and the more the shows listeners asked for more. It won our Album of the year award for 2007, and still ranks in my top five albums of all time. then came the 2009 follow up Transatlantic Suicide, and last years classic double live set Live From The Waist Down. Both amazing releases that were highly placed in the shows album of the year charts. Then back in the summer I got wind of a fourth album was on its way.

Now you gotta understand the first three studio albums CSK released form a kind of triple concept work. They tell the story of 'The Kid', a mysterious guy, maybe from the future, maybe from within our own id's, who arrives in the 1970's and becomes a rock and roll superstar and lives out all our rock and roll dreams before ending his tale in a set of strange circumstances 'one night in Berlin'. So having seen The Kid killed off at the end of Transatlantic Suicide, I was feeling baffled as to what will happen next. A sequel? the start of a new story? a bog stand album of assorted songs? And whatever it was, could the band follow on such an epic cycle and keep themselves sounding fresh and vital? Well we now have our answer, and I'm glad to say all my trepidation has been for nothing.

Sweet Creatures is another loose concept work, that manages to follow on from the previous albums without being either a clone or a sequel. Here we have a story of a group of young women who are living the seedier side of the rock and roll life style; the booze, the money, the drugs, the sex parties... It's a story that has been told a million times, but has become so intertwined with the whole rock and roll mythos that it never grows stale; and when the story is being told by a band of the caliber of CSK you know it's gonna be told well.

Musically this album is another winner. all the traditional worn-proudly-on-the-sleeves CSK influences are here. Mott The Hoople, Sweet, Slade, Roxy Music, Alice Cooper, ELO, Bowie... all the classic 70's stuff, mixed in with huge dollops of balls out rock and roll and played to immaculate perfection. Hell this band make this kind of classic rock timeless. This is a brand new album, but it could have been recorded at any point from 1970 onwards and it would still sound great. From the 'Sweet' sounding opener Sweet Creatures; via tracks like Alice Cooperesque Asylum, the Iggy influenced Bad, Yeah, Bad, the plaintiff Third Avenue Vampires with it's Ziggy era Bowie hat tips and the glam rock fest of Mary Queen of Rock to the Steve Harley toned Angel and beyond, every track here is a gem of the highest quality. However the albums real killer and biggest suprise comes on the final track Harlot of The Flies. A track with a signature riff that wouldn't sound out of place on a Black Sabbath or Uriah Heep record, a dark and menacing scratched rhythm guitar line, a shiver inducingly evil sounding wah wah solo and despite a fairly uplifting chorus a dark and sudden ending that just leaves you screaming out loud for the next CSK album and the continuation of this dark and twisted tale.

Basically CSK have done it again. they have produced another all time classic opus that should, if there is any justice in the world, turn them from being regional US heroes into worldwide superstars.


for fans of... Mott The Hoople, David Bowie, Slade, Sweet, Roxy Music and classic rock in general