Crucified Barbara - In the Red

Crucified Barbara In the Red cover
Crucified Barbara
In the Red
Despotz Records
Crucified Barbara have been with us, many years now…. with this being their fourth album all in all! From Sweedish teenies, that could barely convince you on stage – the first time I saw em live on the first album, they persistently honed their skills through constant gigging and managed to become a pretty consisted, unit, a “gang” that bangs and not, just a bunch of pretty faces.
Their music has always been taking one part Joan Jett/The Runaways (mainly due to the way Mia Coldheart sings and plays the guitar) but a bit more metal. Having toured with Motorhead and the like, whose hit, “Killed by Death” the girls did cover convincingly, should give you an idea, these ladies have, balls… so to speak...
To come up with “In the Red” the girls took some time off and that has paid back, in spades... because the songs sound inspired and not, run of the mill, riffs and melodies just thrown together, hoping that something sticks… this feels a lot more coherent that their previous efforts and like a culmination of their collective experience... each and every of them sounds to have upped their game and that ups the ante considerably overall.
“I Sell My Kids For Rock n’ Roll” is the smashing and thrashing opener, that really hits hard and humoristically approaches the fact, that the band, gets treated by almost everyone more or less, with some sexist bias. “Hey” I’ll say, better that, than if you were toothless crones that no one gave a crap about and shared an eye and a tooth – wasn’t that what the muses or was it the old gilfs, the Grey Sisters (the latter apparently) in the ancient myths that would be keepers of secrets and hidden lore?! Anyhow… If you like your rock n metal energetic… with a bit of “head influence” – this is right up your alley...
“To Kill a Man” is a vengeful heavy mid-tempo number, about women that have been victims of sexual violence or rape. As a male, that loves women, it’s a bit disturbing to see this… I understand the point of the song and even the extreme “point” it seems to take… but I just dunno. I’d say, respect the women, respect people in general.
“Electric Sky” lightens up things, a bit, even if it’s “electric”. It doesn’t speed up considerably up from the mid-tempo of the previous stuff, but the percussion here, is more rocky and pronounced and thus a more exciting atmosphere is achieved. Nice chorus too...
“The Ghost Inside” begins with an almost mock, pirate shanty, theme/intro to move into a more modern but tasty riff and while it builds nicely, the release into the “chorus” is almost non existant, as it almost ends in an extended “pre-chorus/ of which the last line is the actual chorus”. It’s still a decent tune however.
“Don’t Call on Me” is based around a pretty sweet riff, that is repeated, so that you get it, then changes into a much harder one... and it get a pre-chorus/chorus combo that’s “simply irresistible”, just like the ladies. I’d say…. single material. And a good if you want to get rid of pesky eX’s :P
For “In the Red”, Mia assumes a voice, as if she’s just eaten too much spicy Mexican food or something… it sounds like a bit of a funny attempt between sounding faux ultra “sexy”, “mean” and “biker-chick”... it just sounds a bit over the top... It’s not too bad, but it just sounds as she’s trying a bit too hard, when she doesn’t have to... for some reason, the vocals on this track in particular sounded different and more “throaty” and I didn’t think it was too good.
“Lunatic #1” suffers, from the same, slightly “throatier” vocals, (maybe another session) but at least here the attitude is more relaxed, not so pretentiously over the top, so it doesn’t sound too bad. The song itself is a melodic enough rocker, with a nice vibe and a cute if not a little to screamy chorus.
“Shadows” mixes speed up, so it’s an interesting exercise, again seeing how the girls dare to mix up their rock/metal with more and more melody without however watering it down is quite cool. It’s actually quite hard to write simple but cool, effortlessly, catchy songs and the ladies are getting better and better at doing that.
“Finders Keepers” is another example of melodic mid-tempo yet angry and riffy combo songwriting and it works nicely once more.
Just a few minutes before the end, “Do You Want Me” is another highlight. With a sultry sexy riff and vocals that just drip innuendo, in every verse and just “make you feel nasty”, it still has this wicked threatening undercurrent running through it…
Last but not least “Follow the Stream” is a fast paced and screaming tune, which however maintains enough melody that spits bile on people that follow trends and other people blindly. Another winner.
I suppose, the ladies have done it, this is hands and pants down the best album they’ve ever done… it’s their most melodic, has the best songwriting and playing without betraying their rock/metal roots or selling out… It’s enjoyable from start to finish but it can also be consumed, in parts and know they’re an all-girl band consisting of good looking Swedish gals?! What else could you ask?! A Year of Saturdays? (Yeah maybe that…) But I guess until that happens, I might have found another one of the albums that will rock my year – this year!