BILLION DOLLAR BABIES – Chemical God (2016)
Formed a decade ago and having played hundreds of shows, Sweden’s BILLION DOLLAR BABIES are regarded as one of Sweden’s most explosive live acts. Their new album “Chemical God” was produced by Rikard Lofgren (Enforcer, Sister Sin), where Billion Dollar Babies show their versatility and try to sound different from the pack.
Taking the band’s name after Alice Cooper’s most famous album give you an idea of Billion Dollar Babies’ style: US hard rock but with a modern approach. Yes, “Chemical God” has some Alice on it, W.A.S.P, Kiss, Ozzy Osbourne and more, as well as melodic rock moments all over. At the same time, the band add electronics to the mix, I’d say ‘heavy electronics’, resulting in a very interesting output.
We have very dark lyrics which together the high energy performances gives this album a nice balance.
After the punchy opener ‘I Want to See You Burn’, the lead-off single and album title track ‘Everyone’s In Love With A Chemical God’ opens the curtain on a sinister but oh-so-tempting stage set from a dark musical with massive guitar riffs and strong melodies. The band serves up a highly volatile cocktail that sounds like the unholy offspring of present Ozzy Osbourne solo works and John 5-like riffs starring in a dark musical written by Beelzebub himself and directed by Quentin Tarantino.
‘Why Don’t You Put Up a Fight’ is another one of the album’s best moments with its electro-laden Rock and Roll sound and slow build. It’s a bit more dynamic than a lot of the other songs and it’s got a big Pop hook that really grabs you.
Then midtempo ‘One’ and the moody ‘When the Light Goes Out’ reminds me ’90s Danger Danger, with a groovy main melody plus a big bass line. ‘The Nightmare Began’ is the closer of a ballad here with the ghost of Alice Cooper all over yet in a modern sonic palette. Again, a Danger Danger / Paul Laine era feel appears.
‘The Man I Am’ is a stripped down rocker that has rawer, angrier guitars and a is a bit less produced overall. It gives it a ‘mean streets of L.A.’ kinda feel that separates it from the other tunes.
The sinister ‘House of Dreams’ has a vaudeville scary atmosphere where Alice Cooper & Lizzy Borden influences join to deliver a thrilling album’s end.
Billion Dollar Babies is one of those bands trying to do something different, and their new album is some kind of a refreshing bath. You see “Chemical God” is a big ole slab of Hard Rock with nods to the seedy underbelly of the late Eighties and early Nineties scene, but with an original modern sound.
On many songs, the band blend powerful (extremely clean) guitar riffs with background electronics and then put a catchy chorus over it, resulting quite original as a whole.
The genre needs more bands like Billion Dollar Babies, strongly influenced by the classic hard rock era but with a really modern, inventive, refreshing sound and arrangements.
01 – I Want to See You Burn
02 – Everyone’s in Love with a Chemical God
03 – The Junkies Ball
04 – One
05 – Why Don’t You Put Up a Fight
06 – Election Day
07 – President Payne
08 – When the Light Goes Out
09 – The Nightmare Began
10 – The Man I Am
11 – House of Dreams
Frankie Rich – vocals
Pat Kramer – guitar & vocals
Max Lander – guitar & vocals
Danny Dread – drums & vocals
Ewil 13 – bass & vocals
Nic Lester – bass & vocals (2, 6 & 7)
Jon Silver – guitar & vocals (2, 6 & 7)
Anthony Fox – drums & vocals (2, 6 & 7)
BUY IT !