Nasty Idols - 'Kalifornia' (Perris Records) Print E-mail
CD Reviews
Written by Gaz E   
Tuesday, 11 September 2012 04:00

nastyidolskaliA quarter of a century after forming in Sweden in 1987 Nasty Idols return with a killer new album....well, in one sense at least.


After being beaten, like the majority of their contemporaries, into a nineties coma by those cardigan-wearing grunge pied pipers and their vermin fashionista followers, the collective Nasty Idols middle finger twitched when Perris Records re-released the band's back catalogue, and a 'Best Of', a decade ago. The band then rose spectacularly from the near-grave in 2006 for an appearance at the Sweden Rock Festival, the flame not just still burning but lighting the touch paper. An album, 'Boys Town', appeared in 2009 on Metal Heaven and now, ten years after Perris Records saved the band's life, Nasty Idols have gifted the re-animating label their new album, 'Kalifornia'.


As soon as the proverbial needle hit the record I heard pretty much what I was expecting and, I guess, secretly hoped for: a heavy mash-up of 'Slave To The Grind' era Skid Row and cock rock....kinda following the template that fellow Swedish outfit Hardcore Superstar perfected on their 2005 self-titled album - 'street metal' I believe they tagged it.


Then when checking out a suspect lyric that someone like me was never likely to let go - "Dennis was a drummer, boy he was a bummer, man he got screwed" - I noticed a "Sadie" here, a "Charlie" there, a "death to the pigs"; a quick scan of the album's full lyrics got me thinking that 'Kalifornia' may well be a Manson Family-inspired concept album. There's "cease to exist" in 'No More Rules', the album's opening cut, "outside the gates of the famous home" on 'Nightstalkin' and the whole feel of '1969 (This Ain't The Summer Of Love)' smacks of the time when toilets were flushing all over Beverly Hills. And that's before I fully registered the "Helter Skelter Skull" on the disc itself, its boney forehead scarred with an X.


Then, when I got to 'Sister Sin', a more straightforward cock rock tune that parties like '80s metal meets Teenage Casket Company, I got the impression that Nasty Idols frontman Andy Pierce simply read a lot of true crime books when he was penning the lyrics to 'Kalifornia'.


That's not to say that the album isn't swathed in dark, killer moments, or in any way disjointed: in fact, while prepping this review I saw no other mention of the murderous inspiration, my own black-hearted knowledge perhaps impressing no-one.


The songs, on face value alone, will strike deep into the heart of any cock rock fan who thinks that it is still 1987, or any Aquanet aficionado who has moved into the modern age feasting on a diet of Backyard Babies and the aforementioned HCSS. The BYB comparison is a little unfair actually because even though the Idols do commit Borg burglary on a number of occasions (the title track especially, and the Total 13isms of the cover art), they have none of the Babies' punk rock suss; the Nasty Idols evoke the spirit of '87, not '77.


Another Swedish outfit, Europe, hang around the sound of '1969', perhaps surprisingly; the featured Hammond organ reminding of more modern day Tempest and Co. That shouldn't temper the real influence, the spine of this record though - 'Kalifornia' is a modern take on sleaze metal and it's debatable as to whether a better example of its ilk will be released in what remains of 2012.


And on the closing track, the retro-fuelled 'Since U Been Gone', Nasty Idols knock out a 'House Of Pain' style ballad for the girls...and the sensitive boys.


To pick up your copy of 'Kalifornia' - CLICK HERE