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Mustasch – Killing It For Life

Killing It For Life
by Dave Nowels at 21 May 2020, 12:43 PM

MUSTACH is a Rock band originally formed back in 1998, from Göteborg, Sweden. The band's first release was way back back in 2001, but here in 2020, The band The band is back and celebrating their 14th anniversary with Gyllenhammar (Vocals, Guitar) and Johansson (Bass) who are their remaining original members. The band has added newer and younger blood in Bäck (Drums) and Johannesson (Lead Guitar), perhaps in an attempt to capture a younger and perhaps hipper audience. MUSTASCH is one of Sweden's biggest Hard Rock bands, and a band that in their own words, claims the entire continent of Europe as it's home market. Indeed, a previous album,"Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven" went gold in Sweden in two weeks.

Before diving into the music, I must admit I was actually eager to hear this one simply based on the cover art. The album, “Killing It For Life”, displays a skull festooned with a rifle cartridge mohawk looking all intimidating. With this cool cover art, and the fact that the band has played with the likes of MOTORHEAD, I just knew I was in for a stellar previously undiscovered Thrash band destined to kick my ass with their tunes. Hell, even the opening minute of the first track, “Where Angels Fear To Tread” reinforced this hope, for hope it was. Sadly, It was only a fleeting dream, as this release is far from being anything but a European band's attempt to mimic what they think is popular on American radio.

That opening cut, “Where Angels Fear To Tread” deceived me. It opens with a really infectious Thrash based riff, but unfortunately the song just never takes off. The riff has a lot of potential, but never takes off. The whole pace of the song bogs down, a trend that permeates the whole album. The song is okay, just disappointing. The second cut, “Ransaker” again shows some promise, chugging along with a good groove and a Classic Metal feel. But once again, the song seems to lose momentum, and never gets to where it seemingly wants to go. Still, I was convinced there's promise to be found, only to be absolutely turned off by “Before A Grave”. With this track, it seems the band's delving into some attempt at an artsy dark ballad that just becomes boring drivel.

Three cuts so far, and there's absolutely zero consistency. There's musical styles all over the place. There's Thrash, Classic Metal, Indie, and even a horribly executed attempt to incorporate Symphonic stylings on “Go To Hell”. Everything just seems dis-jointed, and reaching. Ultimately. MUSTASCH for me, seem like a band trying too hard to “American-ize” their sound, and losing their own identity in the process. It's not terrible, but it's certainly not great either. Truth be told, it's incredibly boring. As reviewers, we really want to like the bands and albums we're given. There's nothing better than getting an album that blows us away, one that we would have never heard otherwise. Truth is, the majority don't blow us away. Instead, it's the rare few that ultimately do. Most of the time it's excursions into mediocrity. Occasionally it's even painful. That's how I'll remember this one.

Songwriting: 5
Musicianship: 6
Memorability: 2
Production: 6


2 Star Rating

1. Where Angels Fear To Tread
2. Ransacker
3. Before A Grave
4. Freddie Mercury
5. Go To Hell
6. Blood In Blood Out
7. What Is Wrong
8. Garlic And Shots
Robban Bäck - Drums
Ralf Gyllenhammar – Vocals, Guitar
David Johannesson – Lead Guitar
Stam Johansson - Bass
Record Label: Tritonus Records Mustasch AB


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Edited 29 March 2023

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