People talk of “the difficult second album”, especially after a debut which leaves a trail of lustful fans and critical acclaim in its wake, something the first from Danish band Grumpynators certainly did. If it has been a tough period for the Copenhagen quartet it does not show within City Of Sin, their second album a seriously rousing and accomplished slab of muscular rock ‘n’ roll, or as the band calls it motorbilly. As impressive as Wonderland was, its successor outshines it in every way, from songwriting to sound, energy to contagion; it is a mouth-watering and exhilarating incitement leaving a deep and greedy hunger for more.
Formed in 2011, Grumpynators’ ever escalating reputation and rock ‘n’ roll prowess has been unmissable from day one, the band tearing up venues at a rate of knots while their first two EPs were no slouches in waking up ears beyond their already eagerly receptive homeland. It was Wonderland which truly caught broad attention though, something City Of Sin can and will only open the floodgates for. Grumpynators’ sound sits somewhere between metal and hard rock, psycho/rockabilly and punk; distinctive from day one it has only honed a uniqueness which fuels the beauty and triumph of City Of Sin today. Quite simply rock ‘n’ roll is the best way to describe it; the most arousing, devilishly aggressive, and irresistible kind making their new album essential stomping.
Produced by the renowned Jacob Hansen and featuring Volbeat guitarist Rob Caggiano, City Of Sin has ears and admittedly an already eager appetite because of past successes reeling from its first breath as opener Tears Of Whiskey bursts upon the senses. Straight away the driving beats of Per Fisker whip up hungry energy, the slapping incitement of Jakob Oelund’s double bass just as insatiable and matched by riffs and inflamed grooves. Feet and spirit are a quick submission to the bait; Grumpynators continuing to grip both with their Motorhead meets Volbeat scented charge led by the inciting vocal growl of Emil Oelund.
It is an outstanding start still managing to be eclipsed by the following pair of roars. First up is Hotel 2nd Age which needs barely seconds to hook allegiance with its initial melodic line. Christian Noergaard is a master at spinning the most addictive hook lined lures and webs, they often seemingly simple but always honed to instinctive temptation as here. As the initial tendril continues to wind around ears, a just as potent rally from Per joins in, riffs gathering behind before initiating one boisterous canter. If that was not enough to tempt the devil, Jakob uncages a deliciously throbbing bassline, raw seduction which is unrelenting from hereon in to add to the virulent and bold tango. With each hook seeming to intensify in taunting the passions as exotic hues tease from within Christian’s enterprise as Emil’s vocals and riffs further stir things up, the track is just glorious and quickly matched by its successor.
New praise gathering single Take The Last Dance With Me launches at ears with a zeal and energy again impossible not to be caught up in, riffs and rhythms colluding in tenacity as they lead to a chorus which simply demands participation. A song to ensure blossoming romances within any mosh pit it stomps and pumps its sinews like The Pirates meeting Misfits in many ways, but as all stands as something uniquely Grumpynators while preying on the weakness for heart bred rock ‘n’ roll.
Things relax a touch as the swinging throes of Then We Cried takes over, sharing its regrets and wishes borne from lost love. Jakob alone has the body bouncing, the heart yearning with the melancholic melody as Emil’s words which court self-reflection. As inherently and persuasively catchy as anything on the release; it’s tempting is full and multi-faceted ensuring thick involvement of the listener though that last lure applies to all songs as proven straight after again by Pretty Little Devil. Musically as tempting and darkly seductive as the temptress at its heart, the song croons and roars with that bass again instant slavery from within nothing but addictive temptation.
Through the heavy metal toned Far Away with its exhausting sonic gasoline and the rockabilly swinging Now I Know, the album shows even more of the diversity and adventure flowing through the Grumpynators release and imagination. The irresistible sing-a-long potency of the latter is just as persuasive in the psychobilly hued Fame, a spellbinding proposal with something of The Peacocks and Danzig about it, and indeed within St. Elvis Day after that; a song which you would expect is pure rock ‘n’ roll, a multi-flavoured romping stomping celebration.
The album’s title track sets another vertigo inducing peak in the lofty landscape of City Of Sin, the track managing to be the dirtiest most insatiably infectious slice of rock possible, almost poppy in its vocal chords stoking chorus. With rhythms relentlessly probing and sparking movement as Emil roars, the track is a bone shaking, spirit infesting uproar.
The album concludes with firstly the punk ‘n’ roll stand of We Are The Outcasts, anthemic defiance to hook and unite personal grievances with, and lastly the horror punk lit, blood strewn warning of Werewolf; together a thrilling end to an exceptional creative howl.
After Wonderland we will admit we wondered if Grumpynators could better it. Little did we know; better it? They have smashed it.
City Of Sin is released March 24th through Mighty Music.
Upcoming Live shows
24/3 Drafthouse, Hamburg (DE)
25/3 High Voltage, Copenhagen (DK).
7/4 Tante Olga, Randers (DK)
8/4 Paletten, Viborg (DK)
22/4 Sønderborghus, Sønderborg (DK)
Pete RingMaster 17/03/2017
Copyright RingMaster: MyFreeCopyright