SWEET CREATURE – The Devil Knows My Name
the-devil-knows-my-name“If it wasn’t for bad luck I would have no luck at all”, sang Mötley Crüe on their song “Keep Your Eye On The Money” from Theatre Of Pain (1985) and since Mötley Crüe clearly were an influence on Sweden’s most glam-sleazers Crashdïet, that line really fits to describe Crashdïet’s career. Just when Crashdïet were bound for greatness, Diet’s lead singer Dave Lepard committed suicide in 2006, only one year after their critically acclaimed debut album Rest In Sleaze was released. If it wasn’t enough to lose a dear friend and fellow band member, the band’s career was about to hit shit creek as well. Singer number 2, Olliver Twisted (now Olli Herman, singer in Finish pop-glamsters Reckless Love) only lasted one album (The Unattractive Revolution, 2007) and when they finally found a vocalist that fitted the band like a glove, Simon Cruz, he also quit the band – in 2015 after two really good albums, Generation Wild (2010) and The Savage Playground (2013), just when the band had grown bigger and their future looked really bright. Stuff like this sure is enough for anyone to throw in the towel and put the band to rest. If Crashdïet’s story has come to an end is open for speculation but nothing definite has been said of the matter but what’s clear is that guitar player Martin Sweet have moved on to do his own thing for a while – a thing he has chosen to call Sweet Creature. Martin’s new outfit is something he will run at the same time as his pretty new membership in Swedish glam/punk/metal outfit Sister, whom he joined earlier this year.
In his new band, Martin himself is handling both the lead vocals and the lead guitar and with him on the ride he have brought former Gemini Five bassist and lead vocalist Tin Star (he only plays bass in Sweet Creature), his brother Michael TxR (Toxic Rose) on drums and guitar player Linus Nirbrant (This Ending). Knowing the kind of bands that Sweet, Star and TxR have previously played in, it would be kind of easy to guess what kind of music Sweet Creature will bring to the table but the fact that Nirbrant is housing in a death metal band beside Sweet Creature, I really wasn’t sure what to expect from this lot, to be honest – until I heard / saw their debut single / video, that is.
The debut single / video is also the album’s opening track “Not Like Others” and I must admit that the first time I heard it, I thought it was kind of lame. But listening to a song through a computer is a whole different thing than blasting said song through headphones – and it was there it grew on me. The tune is a time machine back to the late 80’s / early 90’s and has the bump and grind like “Pour Some Sugar On Me” wrestled naked with “Cherry Pie” in Guns N’Roses rehearsal room. It has a really groovy and bouncy rhythm and the refrain digs its way right in to the skull and refuses to leave. As a matter of fact, I’m singing it as I write this. I hear a whole lot of Crashdïet – especially echoes of their second album – in “Time To Move On”, but with a punkier vibe. I call it “melodic sleaze” and even though it’s pretty raw and raunchy, it do sport some really catchy hooks – I really dig this one as well. “Burning Midnight Oil” is a chunky little sleaze rocker that kicks up some major dust with some metal/punk riffing, cocky attitude and a really striking chorus that will work like a charm when the party is about to set – killer stuff. The title track’s verses swings on with a base of acoustic guitars and an early 90’s hippie-metal vibe that actually makes me think of Jane’s Addiction. In contrast, the chorus goes in a more sleazy, yet catchy and memorable Crashdïet-like way, which works very well and brings a lot of character to the song – easily one of my favorites on the record. The album’s big power ballad is called “Purpose In Life” and this one just reeks – and I mean that in the best possible way – of 1991. A big chorus, acoustic guitar, lots of keyboards and a chorus catchier than chlamydia. It’s very sticky, but it’s not mawkish by any means. If this song had been released as a single in the golden days of MTV, this album would have gone platinum in no time – brilliant. “Away From You” is really a pop song albeit in a sleaze rock disguise – power pop, if you will. The whole melody is all Crashdiet and the catchiness is palpable – such a great tune. “Our Moment” is raunchy sleaze rocker with a huge pop feel and an addictive chorus. The melody sounds so much like Crashdïet that I suspect it has been around for a while, maybe a left over from their second or third album? It’s a really good song no matter its origin. “Fifteen Minutes” starts off with a pretty big Guns N’ Roses vibe, very attitude laden and the ending goes into late 70’s Rolling Stones territory and the chorus sounds like something Martin has written with a new Crashdïet record in mind. It’s an ok song but it kind of stumbles in the dark somewhat and I can’t get it to stick. “Perfect Day” ends the album and it does so in the best possible way. It’s a straight forward, rough glam rocker that scratches and bites and contains a contagious chorus that sticks right off the bat. It must be a single at some point.
The first time I listened to this album – at home with lots of activities going on at the same time, so not very intense – it fell kind of flat and I thought that maybe this album wouldn’t be all that. But it only took me one more spin – this time through my headphones – for the album to get me hooked. Martin Sweet said that he had lots of songs lying around that didn’t necessarily fit into the Crashdïet mold and therefore they would be perfect for a side project because as he said, Crashdïet aren’t dead, it’s just sleeping for a while. I both agree and disagree. Sure, there are moments on this album that probably wouldn’t have felt right on a Dïet record, but on the other hand lots of stuff would have. See, with this album, it stands pretty clear who the main song writer in Crashdïet was. Most of the melodies and arrangements are very much Crashdïet, especially the vocals. And speaking of vocals, without being Pavarotti by any means, Sweet has a really cool voice and sings good – better than I thought he would – and on many occasions he reminds me not so little of Olliver Twisted. Which makes me wonder why Sweet just doesn’t take the part as a lead singer when / if Crashdïet breaks their hiatus instead of going through the lead singer search once more. So for fans who are waiting for a new Crashdïet record, in Sweet Creature you have a really good substitute and for the rest of the fans of this kind of music, do yourself a favor and check this album out – it’s a damn good one.