Glam Rock and the hard rock sounds of the 1980s typically referred to as “Hair Metal” have found a revival in the modern music scene starting in the mid-2000s and expanding into today’s music world. One of the latest releases of these throw back sounds is Finland’s Desyre with their new album, appropriately titled Glamtron.
Glamtron is a fun mix of synthesizers, djent riffs, and singer, Mazi Bee, channeling Axl Rose without quite reaching that famous vocal range. Overall the album has quality engineering work, with some nifty fade outs that come into play on songs like “Beyond the Horizon” and “The Magic of Your Kingdom,” but the whole first half of the album gets repetitive very quickly. There’s nothing bad about the single “Party Song,” apart from some semi-cheesy lyrics, or even the fact that the song itself is named “Party Song;” the track just made me feel as if I had pulled out a box of old mix tape cassettes from my dad’s closet. There is also the sense of ’90s anime soundtracks in songs like “Dangerous Desire;” Lady Soundwave’s synths were just a bit too much on that one. In other words, I have heard all of this before, whether it be from Poison or Motley Crue, or even Guns ‘n’ Roses. I spent the whole first half of the album waiting for something new to crawl out of this Euro-pop metal act.
The album takes a much more positive turn starting with “Beyond the Horizon.” It all feels a little more modern than David Bowie in Labyrinth and lyrically it gets more interesting than just talking about the “struggle in my life.” There is a certain energy to songs like “War of Stars” derived from the fun riffs, consistent drum build ups and the twisted end of the guitar solo that entices me to see this band perform live. Desyre somehow find a way to convey an unseen stage presence to the listener as if playing an arena showcase just through a recording.
I sort of developed a love/hate relationship with Glamtron. At times the songs have intros that don’t match up with the body of the work, and the overall album has a hint of redundancy, that is perplexingly acceptable since Desyre is, after all, reviving a genre. What really got me was the ring structure of the whole album. Desyre took a risk and put the longest track on the album in the middle, thus creating a buildup of songs circa 5 minutes in length to this center piece, and then slowly fading out with shorter tracks until the end. It was as if they were acknowledging their own redundancy by making their album mimic the structure of most of their songs, with all of their intros, booming middles, and vocal-emphasizing fade outs.
All in all, Glamtron is definitely a fun album, though not quite as hard hitting as some of the opening guitar and bass chords may first lead one to think. Definitely give “Protector” and “Follow Me” a listen to. These tracks stood out the most on the album and give anyone a great reason to rock their own air guitars for a few minutes.
You can purchase a CD or buy concert tickets here.
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