by Mark Allen
Staff Writer —
Ready for the latest Swedish metal sensation that’s going to rock your world? Part of the exciting musical movement known as the New Wave of Swedish Sleaze Metal, Baby Jane nail the sound, the attitude, the production, the songs, the drums, the… well, they pretty much nail everything. Nail it with the surgical precision of a Navy SEAL sniper slipping a subsonic slug between the eyes of a turbaned terrorist. This is a band with balls, a band that somebody told to go big or go home. Looks like Baby Jane didn’t want to go home.
Bands like Crashdiet, Hardcore Superstar, and Crazy Lixx may have gotten the Swedish sleaze-metal ball rolling, but Baby Jane give it a good, swift kick in the ass and jack the momentum up another notch or two. This is not a band that must skulk in the shadow of their predecessors; they are more than good enough to stand proudly alongside them, their sounds similar, their footing equal. For a while now, Crashdiet, Hardcore Superstar, and Crazy Lixx have been the holy trinity of Swedish sleaze; looks like the threesome needs to evolve into a quartet, because from now on when people shout the names of their favorite Swedish sleaze-metal bands, Baby Jane is going to be on a lot of lips.
One of the things that make these guys so great is their stubborn refusal to engage in subtlety. They avoid it like a naked man avoids cooking bacon. Everything about their sound and style is big, loud, and raucous, just like rock ‘n’ roll should be, fueled by reckless attitude and delivered with a don’t-give-a-damn sneer. Baby Jane’s brand of bad boy metal is catchy as hell and very much in your face and they make no apologies for it. These guys are not puke-inducing posers looking to pounce on the coattails of a successful fad, they are the real deal. Baby Jane lives, breathes, and believes their sleaze-metal creed and that authenticity comes through amidst all the slamming drums and huge hooks and ear-candy choruses.
Lead singer Freddie (no last name) bears a vocal resemblance to Tim Skold (Shotgun Messiah) and as far as resemblances go, that’s a good’un. A noticeable accent occasionally pops up and makes its presence known, but nothing that detracts from the songs, just enough to remind you that you are not listening to an American band. Then again, music this good so rarely comes from American bands that you probably won’t need the accent to remind you that this album is not native to the U.S. of A.
Picking out the best songs is impossible because every song is a highlight. No need to individually describe the tracks either, because writing “this song has massive hooks and a huge chorus powered by gang backing vocals” ten times in a row would get rather redundant rather quickly. Seriously, every anthem on this album is a hot blooded hit. The catchiness factor blasts through the roof, through the stratosphere, and resides in the realm of angels. The only place the band slightly stumbles is in their mandatory ballad attempt, “Upside Down,” which, while not horrible, doesn’t compare to the quality of the rockers that sandwich it on either side.
Any fan of that Swedish glam/sleaze-metal sound would have to be crazier than a lobotomized chimp cranked up on a hot-ball of speed, coke, and peyote to not fall in love with this album. With hooks sharper than a cutthroat razor and pounding grooves that slither into your brain-meat and stick there, these guys are the new princes of Swedish sleaze, and everyone knows that it’s only a matter of time before princes become kings. Don’t be surprised if they soon ascend to the throne as fans everywhere scream, “All hail Baby Jane!”
Genre: Melodic Hard Rock, Hair Metal, Sleaze Metal
Manx (bass guitar)
1. Raise Your Fist
2. My Behavior
3. Face Against the Wall
4. The Secret Lies
5. Upside Down
6. In the Spotlight
7. Next in Line
8. This is War
10. Night Explodes
Label: Live to Fight Productions
Hardrock Haven rating: 9/10