Wasteland Discotheque

rating icon 9 / 10

Track listing:

01. This Blackout Is Your Apocalypse
02. Somewhere Along The Road
03. The Bash
04. Warriors
05. Straight To Hell
06. Welcome The Storm
07. Wasteland Discotheque
08. Somebody's Watching Me
09. A Heavy Burden
10. To The Lighthouse
11. Showdown Recovery
12. The Comfort In Leaving

Why isn't this Danish band huge in North American, getting tons of attention, and selling out tours? I'll be the first to admit that I'm guilty as hell in not paying any attention to RAUNCHY over the years, but not because I'd heard the music and found it distasteful; for whatever reason I just never got around to checking out albums like 2006's "Death Pop Romance" or 2004's "Confusion Bay". What a mistake! Having nearly ignored "Wasteland Discotheque" as well, I popped that sucker in, based on a recommendation from a colleague, and was blown out of the water. The term "death pop" may not exactly seem inviting for the average metal fan, that is, until you listen to RAUNCHY, at which point the blissfulness explodes in your face.

The most accessible end of Swedish melodic death/thrash may often seem tired these days, but there was a time when certain albums were released (e.g. SOILWORK's "Stabbing the Drama" or IN FLAMES' "Clayman") that were exciting and fresh. "Wasteland Discotheque" gave me that same kind of feeling, much as DEADLOCK's "Earth.Revolt" did, albeit for different reasons. Perhaps previous RAUNCHY releases have that same magic; I just can't speak to it. In 2008, I've not heard a band do a better job of writing aggressive music with impeccably written melodies (in some cases with perfectly executed clean vocals) that are often based on a pop formula, a modern sensibility, and bombastic production of Jacob Hansen that ties it all together. RAUNCHY easily leads the pack here.

Don't be confused with terms like "pop" though, as "Wasteland Discotheque" is a high-energy affair with oodles of melo-death/thrash forward motion. But at the same time melody is always a primary component, regardless of whether clean vocals are utilized or keyboards blend, instead of lead. These are all part of RAUNCHY's gloriously arranged movements.

But there is no question that RAUNCHY has a knack for penning grand slam melodies. The hooks on this baby don't just grab you; they smack you across the forehead with a 2x4. "Somewhere Along the Road" and "A Heavy Burden" are two such examples, the latter a brilliant juxtaposition of sheer force and scintillating tunefulness. It is on "Warriors" that RAUNCHY flies highest with a chorus so addictive it'll make the meth habit you just kicked seem easy. The main keyboard part on the track is particularly notable for its SENTENCED-esque coldness and beauty. Then you get a song like the title track that works just as well, but gives off a different type of vibe, one characterized by a pinch of industrial metal propulsion and a danceable factor to boot, not to mention a roaring chorus. It gives one visions of a club filled with drunken revelers shouting the chorus. It's crazy good, I tell ya!

And why not throw in a cover of ROCKWELL's "Somebody's Watching Me"? Lord knows it's a snug fit and is translated smashingly well by RAUNCHY. Top it off with a somewhat epic piece called "The Comfort in Leaving" and you've got yourself one hell of an album that keeps getting better with every spin. Find out about RAUNCHY now and buy the damn album!

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