BADMOUTH – Heavy Metal Parking Lot (2011)

Screaming out of Stockholm, Sweden, hard rockers Badmouth are set to release in Europe – September 2nd, 2011 – “Heavy Metal Parking Lot”, their 2nd album, the first to be distributed massively.
In the beginning (2007) Badmouth was only a studio project. Chris LeMon (Bass) and Mike Hill (Rhythm Guitar) had no intentions to play live or even to record an album, just a couple of friends writing and recording some songs.
The next obvious step was to find band members so they called on Tom Pearsson (Vocals), Randy Joy (Lead Guitar) and Rick Hard (drums) to complete the lineup and thus, Badmouth was born.
The band quickly developed into the wonderful beast it is today.
2008 saw the release of their self titled debut published by a small US label, which was produced by Paul Sabu, but the band wasn’t happy with the final result.

Anyway, Badmouth did a handful of European tours opening for Kingdom Come, L.A. Guns and Pretty Boy Floyd and played shows with Sator, Zodiac Mindwarp and The Poodles among others. The band was also 1 of 5 bands who won a competition to perform at the Arvika Festival that summer.
In 2010 Rick Hard was replaced by Vinnie Sharpe. Badmouth then teamed up with notorious producer Chips Keisby (Sator main man) and began work on their sophomore effort “Heavy Metal Parking Lot”.

First of all: despite the album title, this is not a Heavy Metal disc.
That title is an ode, a homage to the glory days when Rock ‘N Roll was fun. The cover art is a snapshot – in cartoon caricature – of Eighties arena rock fans tailgating before the big show.
And this is indeed what Badmouth plays; great arena melodic hard rock that made those Eighties (with the big hair, torn jeans, button-clad denim jackets) so famous and memorable.
“Radiator”, “Tired”, “Bottoms Up” are pure, fun-loving, instant party rock with large hooks and huge road trip value.
On some tracks, Badmouth blurs the lines between hard rock and classy european melodic heavy metal. But ’80s Scandinavian metal, the good, the classic one.
Think Pretty Maids, 220 Volts, Bonfire and many German bands, but more, more catchy. Those influences are clear on the hellishly melodic “City Is Burning”, the awesome “Facing My Demons”, and the great opener “Son Of Sam”, all fine tracks with some stunning musicianship.

The title track is a real winner, a driving rocker fueled by fantastic riffage and a chorus to blast the stages. The lyrics are the motto of this recording, part history of what Rock ‘N Roll is all about and part parody, but all arena anthem.
The guys also have time to add a muscular bluesy hard rockin’ touch to the classy “Blue Ribbon Days”, and wrote a powerful ballad (not the typical syrupy); “Jake Brakes”, which has tons of melody and acoustic guitars, but a pulsating electricity all over.

I have played this album repeatedly for over a week, and regardless of the mood, always work. Simply you can’t dislike this kind of stuff, specially if you have grown in the eighties listening the classic bands mentioned above.
All these songs are made strong by an exceptional songwriting for this genre (the guys have learned the book perfectly), great musicianship, and the wise production.
The latter is one the most remarkable aspects of this recording; producer Chips Kisbye clearly understands how classy melodic hard rock is supposed to sound. Fat, round and with the perfect punch. It isn’t glossy or over-processed, but slick and clean enough to preserve the melody without capping the edge, just how used to be in the glorious ’80s.
Sweden did it again: “Heavy Metal Parking Lot” is one of the albums of the year for me, and surely the best in this particular genre: the lovely arena ready melodic hard rock.
Strongly Recommended.

01 – Son Of Sam
02 – Radiator
03 – Judas
04 – Silver Lining
05 – City Is Burning
06 – Tired
07 – Bottoms Up
08 – Blue Ribbon Days
09 – Heavy Metal Parking Lot
10 – Jake Brakes
11 – Facing My Demons

Tom Pearsson (Vocals)
Chris LeMon (Bass)
Mike Hill (Rhythm Guitar)
Randy Joy (Lead Guitar)
Vinnie Sharpe (drums)


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