What's an old fucker like me to make of this one then? My youngest kid (14 years) really rates it and so he should. This album brimmeth over with punch, catchiness, exuberance and a shade of angst. Melodic Death Metal glossed over with Pop sentimentality is what's on offer and the result is ultimately an entertaining one.
Grabbing you straight off by your short and curlies, “This Legend Forever” skips away in jaunty fashion, immediately endearing you to the highly accessible skewed joie de vivre belted out by RAUNCHY. The treacle soon gets its slice of lemon when the vocals kick in, just to give a hint of bitterness. The lyrics are delivered in the shouted / clean style that is vogue amongst the young bucks today and of course the bark and croon often merges into a dual proclamation.
The band tip their hat to many an influence ranging from STRAPPING YOUNG LAD to IN FLAMES and so you can rest assured that whatever is presented here is still as heavy as it is infectious. There are crates of crunch for the lickety split lead guitar to try and crack open and though keyboards are used they don't wash over the whole, just add add atmosphere and perhaps a bit of fluff for the guitars to slash at. As the album progresses the motifs keep marching by, the holler along choruses knitting everything together. “Death Pop Romance” is packed full of ideas but is structured so that everything has room to move rather than just packing it all in to the proverbial sardine can.
The fact that these lads have a ten year history behind them shows. There is a tightness to their songs which nonetheless does not restrict the fun to be had. The riffs are built so that Deathly ones glower at the more Alternative ones until they circle each other with gladiatorial intent whilst the keyboard runs try to mediate. Moments rise and fall but whatever emotional state the drums kick out a biomechanical beat, the controlled tattoo that you will all recognise. There is a rich rounded bass underpinning the lot, it almost sounds mellow as if pouring oil on the troubled waters of the vocals. Whilst the majority of this album is truly contemporary, RAUNCHY still pay homage to some of the more basic fare purveyed by their forebearers such as the more straightforward bruising on “Live The Myth”
For the most part RAUNCHY keep it energetic without really lifting their skirts and going hell for leather, as a consequence they continue to engage throughout, that said when they do let loose as during “Farewell To Devotion” it is most welcome. Those of you worried by the mention of Pop can dispel your fears, think FAITH NO MORE and just get on with enjoying yourselves. Indeed the keyboards often remind me said band and that can't be a bad thing. Those of you expecting a sterling production have got it, everything is balanced and just as Sir would wish it.
So yet again a grumpy old git has to accept that a bunch of young whippersnappers can cut it. An album for 14 year olds then (and their dads when they have gone to school.) (Online June 6, 2006)