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Rust N' Rage - Showdown

Rust N' Rage
by Drago at 18 January 2013, 1:15 AM

Combining the vibe, look and energy of the 1980s sunset strip, Finland’s RUST N' RAGE reminds us of a time when the decadent lifestyle was the only way to play metal music. Releasing their debut “Showdown” through Finland’s own Ektro Records, RUST N' RAGE are pledging their allegiance to the glam styles of MOTLEY CRUE, GUNS N' ROSES and HANOI ROCKS. The twist on this release is that they are all barely 20 years old and have not been in the industry for 20 plus years. It is refreshing to see the younger generation trying their attempt at this style of music when they weren’t even born when it was at its peak.

Unlike the band STEEL PANTHER who are tongue and cheek, RUST N' RAGE are completely authentic. With song titles like “Hotter Than You”, “Locked N’ Loaded” and “Thrill Me” the lyrical topics are juvenile drivel that you would expect from this type of release. If one were to put some makeup on, super tight pants and tease their hair this release is right up your alley.

The song ideas are there but frankly aren’t executed well. First off, Vince’s vocals are whiny and out of key. Midway through the record it really started to grate on my nerves. He isn’t a horrible vocalist but is not produced well. His higher register needs a lot of work, as it’s thin and pitchy. When you play Glam Metal the songs have to be extremely catchy and memorable and these tunes just aren’t. They are forgettable for the most part.

The guitar riffs are the highlight of the record. They capture the vibe of early to mid 80s glam metal especially on tracks “Sounds Of The City”, “Thrill Me” and the hard charging “Secret Highway”. Another issue I have with the record is the mix; Eddy’s bass is way too loud and overpowers the guitars. It muddies up the sound and takes away from the guitar playing of Johnny.

They do slow it down on the bluesy “Where The Angels Go To Die” but that also suffers from the poor mix. Vocally Vince sounds better on this one when he utilizes his lower register but when he expands his range the pitch problems rear their ugly head. Despite these issues the vocal melody is strong enough that it stands out as the catchiest song on the album. This is Johnny’s song to shine as his guitar playing is tasty, heartfelt and works around the melody perfectly.

I think the first thing that RUST N' RAGE needs to do is play “Too Fast For Love”, “Out Of The Cellar” and “Night Songs” over incessantly to see how the masters perfected this style of music. The sophomoric lyrics and style they have down, the riffs are pretty good but the overall song writing just isn’t up to par yet. I admire the fact that they are playing a style of music that is true to their hearts and doing what they want regardless of the fact that Glam Metal is a style of music from the distant past. That takes some balls.

1 Star Rating

1. Road To Nowhere (Instrumental)
2. Secret Highways
3. Hotter Than You
4. Locked n’ Loaded
5. This Time
6. Hit The Ground
7. Thrill Me
8. Where The Angels Go To Die
9. Hollow Life
10. Sounds Of The City
11. Black Rose
Vince– Vocals
Eddy– Bass
Jezzie– Drums
Johnny- Guitar
Record Label: Ektro Records


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