CASABLANCA – Apocalyptic Youth

The old adage never judge a book by its cover, or in this case an album sleeve, rings true here as looking at Casablanca you’d think the CD would be all glam/sleaze rock. Wrong! This is one heck of a pop rock ride, think Cheap Trick meets Cars by way of Hanoi Rocks.

The band mainman is guitarist Ryan Roxie (who is back again in Alice Copper’s band) and the band’s line-up features a former Swedish footballer in bassist Mats Rubarth. The album has some really instant pop rockers – not a note is wasted as all songs bar a couple clock in at under four minutes. ‘Last Of The Rockstars’ has a massively infectious chorus, as does ‘Secret Agents Of Lust’ complete with a Cheap Trick approved chorus. They can get down and dirty though as the riff-tastic ‘Deliberately Wasted’ proves. Strangely ‘The Juggler’ reminded me of the Police mainly due to the chiming guitar and the harmonies recall the Cars in their prime. A nice late 70′s/early 80′s vibe on this song.

An aural joy from start to finish and a pop rock fans delight.

****

Jason Ritchie

Casablanca have just released their debut album “Apocalyptic Youth”- 10 tracks of catchy, melodic pop rock with a sleazy edge to it, and what a solid effort it is. The band are an American/Swedish hybrid that feature amongst them guitarist Ryan Roxie (ex-Alice Cooper and currently touring again with the great man), Sahara Hotnights’ drummer Josephine Forsman and ex-Sweden footballer Mats Rubarth on bass.

The album is infectiously catchy and is one of those that tends to keep finding its way back into the CD player. Opening track “Apocalyptic Youth” is reminiscent of the solo work from Hanoi Rocks guitarist Andy McCoy, as is “Downtown” and that influence appears again later in the album. “A Lifetime on The Run” starts with a Skynyrd style acoustic intro before heading into that Hanoi like territory, whilst the backing vocals on “Secret Agents of Lust” have more of a Def Leppard feel to them.

Other highlights on “Apocalyptic Youth” include “Deliberately Wasted”, “Rich Girl” and the albums feelgood track “Last of The Rockstars”. The albums ultimate track however is “Love and Desperation”- a fine blend of Hanoi Rocks, White Lion and The Rasmus, if you can imagine that.

Throughout the album the vocals of Anders Ljung are complimented by the ever dependable guitar work of Ryan Roxie and together they have helped to create a thoroughly enjoyable good time rock and roll record.

 ****1/2

Nikk Gunns


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EMPYRE New Republic (indie)
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