Rockstars On Mars
Rockstars On Mars
Released: 2014, Unsigned
The New Wave of Swedish Sleaze metal gains another member, this time in Rockstars On Mars, originally from Los Angeles but now relocated to Gothenburg. Lending some recognizable pedigree is American singer London LeGrand, who played in the group Brides of Destruction with Nikki Sixx and Tracii Guns. Not surprisingly, the band’s sound leans heavily towards L.A. Guns with a dash of Faster Pussycat. However, there are elements of the Swedish interpretation of sleaze as well, the band incorporating elements of Hardcore Superstar, while the final mastering and mix is courtesy of Martin Sweet of Crashdïet.
Winning the influence award though is Faster Pussycat, Rockstars On Mars employing heavy, dirty distortion and patented sleaze lyrics to this album of 8 songs. You need go no farther, really, then party time opener “Tequila n Gin” to take the full measure of this band. Watch the video, and you will have no doubt that this is a band that was, in the immortal words of Scott “Wino” Weinrich, “Born Too Late.” Propelled by a basic rock standard riff and tributes to the joys of intoxication, it is easy not to take Rockstars On Mars too seriously. Deep down, this is a faithful almost parody-like rendering of the era of 80s sleaze metal. “Too Kool For Skool” recalls Britny Fox from dudes 20 years out of school, which unsurprisingly leads to an album that could wear out its welcome quickly, fine for quaffing beer in quantity but utterly unsuited for attentively absorbing through headphones on the couch. To the rescue though comes some variety in the form of the unexpectedly dark semi-ballad, “Bleeding Heart” featuring a whole host of new chords, staining the canvas with previous unused and frankly unimagined colors.
Vocally, LeGrand seems content to stick with a Keifer/Davidson hybrid but more aggressive and screechy than either of the Cinderella/Britny Fox frontmen. How the dude does not blow out his voice is beyond me. Fave song though, is the deep album track “I Want You” that reminds me of Crashdïet’s REST IN SLEAZE album, a perfectly executed and melodic solo adding to the upgrade in songwriting on the tune. “Headbone” is the most obvious Faster Pussycat inspired tune, where LeGrand tones things Downe (sorry, I could not resist that one).
Bottom line, this is highly entertaining party music if enjoyed in low doses, but it can quickly become as fatiguing as the most hateful and monotonous insect buzzing extreme metal. Kudos though to Martin Sweet’s mix, which is modern and booming, even if the guitars are over the top distortion-wise. I have met, interviewed, and partied with Martin and he is a consummate professional, knowledgeable and dedicated to how things sound as much as the song craft itself. ROCKSTARS ON MARS breaks no new ground and offers no apologies. This is music whose heyday was 30 years gone but still enjoyable at the right time. Recommended for fans of Faster Pussycat , L.A. Guns and naturally, Crashdïet.