How do you follow-up an album as raucously, shamelessly enjoyable as 2008’s Booze, Broads and Beelzebub?
If you’re Norway’s Chrome Division, you don’t try to change many of the winning ingredients – you just knock out another ten tracks of the same unbridled sleaze that permeated your first two full-length efforts.
The band has a new vocalist in the form of Shady Blue (aka Susperia’s Athera), but little else has changed about their biker culture-infused hard rock/heavy metal, led by Dimmu Borgir frontman Shagrath (who sticks to rhythm guitar duties). They certainly haven’t strayed far from the musical influences of their first two records either; an up-tempo amalgamation of Motörhead, AC/DC and Black Label Society with a dose of “death punk” nutters Turbonegro’s attitude.
There’s a modicum of subtlety on the odd occasion (the melodies and more low-key leads of “7 G-Strings”) but those are just brief pit stops on an otherwise rollicking, hook-laden ride. Opener “Bulldogs Unleashed” nails down the Chrome Division ethos; a riff lifted from the Motörhead playbook, meshed with tongue-in-cheek tales of booze, hell-raising, chicks and rock ‘n’ roll. The grooving “Unholy Roller” and “Zombies and Monsters” pack plenty of crunch, while “Fight (Rumble and Roll)” oozes swagger. “Long Distance Call Girl” takes a riff straight from 80s hard rock and fuses it with some ridiculous, yet hilariously likeable lyrics. There’s even a fitting and respectful take on country staple “Ghost Rider in the Sky” (arguably best known for being covered by Johnny Cash) included, which slots naturally into the sequence of the record. “The Magic Man” also brings a more overtly blues influence to the table.
3rd Round Knockout’s macho posturing is so brazenly over-the-top and tongue-in-cheek it’s as infectious as the STDs carried by the girls the band writes so lovingly about. It’s not high-brow and it certainly isn’t high art, but it’s definitely high on life. It also sounds like the band had a blast writing and recording it – thankfully, the listener is in on the fun too.
1. Bulldogs Unleashed
3. Join the Ride
4. Unholy Roller
5. Zombies & Monsters
6. Fight (Rumble n. Roll)
7. The Magic Man
8. Long Distance Call Girl
9. Ghost Riders in the Sky
10. Satisy My Soul