VANITY BLVD – Wicked Temptation (2014)
For me, the album debut from Swedes VANITY BLVD back in 2008 was one of the best female fronted hard rock records appeared around those years. After a long hiatus visiting the recording studio Vanity BLVD have signed with Austrian based Noisehead Records for the release of their long awaited second album “Wicked Temptation” next February 8th.
Vanity BLVD was discovered by Ryan Roxie (Alice Copper) and famed producer Chris Laney, who after listening their demos agreed to produce their debut. The single from the album received plenty of airplay at various Swedish radio stations and the band extensively toured Scandinavia.
With a new rhythm section and driven forth by the energetic and charismatic frontlady Anna Savage, on “Wicked Temptation” Vanity BLVD continues developing their brand of high-octane rock ‘n roll deeply rooted in the late ’80s Sunset Boulevard sound.
Usually tagged as a sleazy band, in fact the overall sound and style here is classic Californian Hard Rock with a touch of glam / hair metal, even melodic rock at places, all quite polished in its delivery.
Despite the simple riffs and easy to remember choruses, there’s nothing simple about the band or the performance. The guitar work of Traci Trexx is compact and powerful, the pumping bass provides an extra punch, the drumming is solid as rock, and Anna Savage definitely can sing a tune with a vocal register like a cross between Lorraine Lewis of Femme Fatale, Sandi Saraya or Karen Lawrence.
“Dirty Rat”, “Hot Teaser”, “Scream Out” and “Dirty Action” are hot hard rockers with dry guitar riffs and melodic licks, while on “Miss Dangerous”, “Soulshaker” and specially “Thrills In The Night” Vanity BLVD turns much more melodic hard, strangely at places sounding like Danger Danger with female vocals.
We have variation in the middle of the disc with “Had Enough”, which starts slowly with acoustics and then at the half of the songs explodes into a groovy rocker like Skid Row.
“Falling Down” is the ballad, a solid midtempo slow burner with a bluesy touch giving room for Anna’s pipes to shine.
Sweden certainly continues to export some of the best hard rockin’ music and Vanity BLVD is no exception to this rule. The band is not reinventing the wheel on “Wicked Temptation”, they just deliver 11 solid, good and enjoyable hard rock tracks inspired by the timeless ’80s.
Besides, it’s not easy to find these days this type of bands with a girl at the mic, and one that apart her nice legs, actually can sing, and quite well indeed.
01. Dirty Rat
02. Miss Dangerous
03. Do or Die
04. Hot Teaser
05. Had Enough
07. Scream Out
08. Thrills in the Night
09. Falling Down
10. Desperate Heart
11. Dirty Action
Anna Savage – vocals
Traci Trexx – guitars
Pete Ash – bass
Jens Gebb – drums