Sound — 9
Loud guitars. Groovy drums. Red hot vocals. Catchy choruses. What more could you ask for in a hard rock CD? This has all of those things, but it also has more. It has four very awesome WOMEN who rock as hard as any other band out there today. Crucified Barbara are Mia Coldheart (lead vocals/lead guitar), Klara Force (rhythm guitar/backing vocals), Nicki Wicked (drums/backing vocals), and Ida Evileye (bass/backing vocals). They hail from Stockholm, Sweden as a part of the "sleaze rock/metal" revival that has been happening there for the better part of the last decade. "The Midnight Chase" is the band's third full-length release. It follows "In Distortion We Trust" (2005) and "'Til Death Do Us Party" (2009). This band has been gaining a following in Europe, and has only just recently been getting some exposure in the United States. I personally hadn't heard of them until just a few weeks ago. I was introduced to them via a friend, and every since I heard the opening track to "The Midnight Chase" ("The Crucifier"), I haven't listened to anything else BUT this album. The album opens with "The Crucifier". The song is very reminiscent of Motorhead to me, at least in terms of instrumentation. Fast paced, in your face, and very metal. It was an early favorite of mine on the album. The second track, "Shut Your Mouth", is a mid tempo rocker with a pretty catchy chorus. There are times where the groove reminds me of something Avenged Sevenfold would have written. "Rules And Bones" is a standout on the album in my opinion. It's one of the slower songs on the album, and it's got some great riffage, particularly after the chorus. "If I Hide" is another standout track. I believe it was written about how rhythm guitarist Klara Force and bassist Ida Evileye met. I love the chorus in this song. It's very powerful. The following song, "Rock Me Like The Devil", sounds like a single to me, and it's a very good one. Catchy sing along chorus, great guitar solo from "Mia Coldheart", and some really good riffage. "Count Me In" is definitely the slowest track of the album. It would be the album's ballad. I know it sounds like I'm praising the album at this point, but it does have some flaws. I think the mix could have used a LOT more bass, and a little less vocal volume. It's not overly distracting. It's more of a personal preference. The musical style isn't exactly groundbreaking. It is what it is: Hard rock tinged in metal and sleaze. And for what it is, it's really good.
Lyrics — 9
The subject matter of the album touches on revenge, personal relationships, rebellion, sex, and freedom to do what you want. Again, it's nothing really groundbreaking, but it's music and it doesn't have to be. The mood the music portrays and the lyrics fit together really well. Nothing seems out of place, and they complement each other nicely. Vocalist Mia Coldheart has a KILLER voice. And I am really surprised that I enjoy it as much as I do. It's really hard for me to find a female rock vocalist that has a voice I can enjoy, but she has managed to do just that. And she does it well. As previously stated, sometimes the singing can get a little loud to me compared to everything else in the mix. But that's not a knock on her vocal skills at all. I do tend to have a hard time figuring out what she's singing at times, but those moments are few and far between. It probably has a lot to do with the fact that she's Swedish and I'm not.
Overall Impression — 9
If you buy a physical copy of the album, it has a sticker on it that says "For fans of Motorhead, early Motley Crue, The Runaways and Joan Jett", and that to me is a very accurate description of what these ladies are all about. They rock, they rock hard, and this album showcases that very well. They've been playing together as a group since 1998, and they've seemed to really come into their own with this third album. As previously stated, my only knock on the album is the mixing. I'm a new fan of the band, and I was disappointed to have missed them on their current US tour (their first, I believe. They didn't come anywhere close to the Pacific Northwest area where I am). I'm really excited to see where this band goes now that they are getting some exposure here in the United States. I see big things for this band. If it were lost or stolen, I'd buy it again in a heartbeat. And I hope the person who stole it enjoys it as much as I do.