Album review: CASABLANCA – Riding A Black Swan

Casablanca - Riding A Black Swan

Gain/Sony Music [out now]

American/Swedish band Casablanca have just released their sophomore album “Riding A Black Swan” and just 8 days into 2014 I would be surprised if I am not still listening to this on repeat at the end of the year.

What is there not to like about “Riding A Black Swan”, there are elements of all my favourite bands – there are touches of Hardcore Superstar (“Hail The Liberation”), Hanoi Rocks (“Dead End Street Revisited” and “Heartbreak City”), Thin Lizzy (“Some Misty Morning” and “It’s Alright”), Vain (“Just For The Nite”) and D.A.D (“The Great Dreamless Sleep” and “Barriers”) throughout the album.

The album is a master class in hard edged sleazy pop rock that stands apart from the current Scandinavian sleaze bands and has a mature sound than the band’s 2012 debut “Apocalyptic Youth”.

You can see the influence of guitarist Ryan Roxie’s ongoing tenure as Alice Cooper’s main man throughout- although he only appears in the songwriting credits once (“It’s Alright”). There are big ‘80’s style hooks and great guitars all over the album and  the highlights are amongst  some of the tastiest tracks you will hear this year  (for the record they are “The Great Dreamless Sleep”- complete with some great Shark Island style vocals, “Dead End Street Revisited”, “Barriers” and “Some Misty Morning”).

The only slight criticism I have- and maybe I am being picky- is on track “No Devil In Me”, the refrain “Shout At The Devil” may be conceived as a bit clichéd, that said if a certain L.A band hadn’t already brought the phrase to the fore then this would not have even raised an eyebrow as the song more than carries itself.

“Riding A Black Swan”, and indeed Casablanca as a band, comes highly recommended –there are tracks on this album that will continue to rattle around my head for months to come.  *****

Review by Nikk Gunns


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Power Plays w/c 28 October (Mon-Fri)

COLLATERAL Mr Big Shot (Roulette Media Records)
BABY HUSBAND Stop Thinking About Tomorrow (indie)
OF ALLIES Off The Map (indie)
EXPLORING BIRDSONG The River (indie)
MARISA AND THE MOTHS – Slave (indie)
CATTLE AND CANE I Wish I Knew Jesus (Like I Do)
KING VOODOO Creep (indie)

Featured Albums w/c 28 October (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Big Blue World (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 REDLINE Gods & Monsters (Escape Music)
14:00-16:00 WILDWOOD KIN (Silvertone/Sony)

Albums That Time Forgot (Mon-Fri)

MAGNUM Sleepwalking (1992)



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