In Distortion We Trust

Crucified Barbara

GMR Music Group, 2005

REVIEW BY: Chris Harlow


Some of the more established hard rock bands from Stockholm, like the Hellacopters, may think that rock n' roll is actually dead. Thank God there is a new guard positioned to challenge them on such a defeatist attitude.

In Distortion We Trust not only serves as a middle finger salute to such a missive but also doubles as the album title for another Stockholm band's riff-heavy debut album. The band responsible for this is Crucified Barbara, a quartet of females that intriguingly bear little comparison to any other current female band of significance.

In some ways, In Distortion We Trustmy_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250 is also a textbook metal album, given the adrenaline-fueled passion behind vocalist Mia Coldheart's wailed lyrics, as well as Klara Force's axework. The title track is a prime example of this claim, as Coldheart shares lead vocals with guest vocalist Aurora Parmacek, who gives a few death metal growls of the song title several times towards the end of the track -- symbolic since Sweden is generally credited as the birthplace of death metal.

Further proving the chops and ability of the band are the keen layering of fretwork patterns timed to the coordinated backline procession of bassist Ida Evileye and drummer Nicki Wicked. This is evident on the first single, "Losing The Game," which hit number eight on the Swedish rock charts six weeks before the album was released.

The second single from the album, "Rock n' Roll Bachelor," is a bit more lacking in the fretwork department and is largely reminiscent of the old Joan Jett anthems where Jett sings over simple chord arrangements. I'm not sure this would be my choice for the second single personally; "Play Me Hard" and "My Heart Is Black" are more complete pieces, more melodic and featuring more interesting hook structures. Additionally, the lyrics to both these alternatives can be taken a little more seriously than those found in "Rock n' Roll Bachelor."

Seems to me that it would always be easier to beat a line like "Check him out, you can have him / Cause he's nothing but a tight blue jeans ass to me." I personally get more of a charge in hearing "Life is a bitch and so am I you see / I dedicate my love to a Flying-V" found in "My Heart Is Black."

Earlier I mentioned this album had a textbook metal feel, meaning there's an overall shredding guitar element (presumably from those Flying-V's) that gives In Distortion We Trust more of an old school metal sound. From my perspective, this dynamic is most appealing as it offers musicianship complexities that are absent in most of the contemporary metal I hear today.

In Distortion We Trust is a hard rock/metal album that most accurately defines the climate of hard rock in today's terms despite what others might say. Trust me. No, wait. Trust Crucified Barbara.

Rating: A-

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© 2005 Chris Harlow and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of GMR Music Group, and is used for informational purposes only.