OK. Are you ready for some good ol’ cheeseball rock and roll? Good! Then I present to you Rust N’ Rage, with the album “Showdown” released through Ektro Records/Karkia Mistika Records. The album is due to be released on 18th January 2013 but it’s a true throw back to the epic cheesiness of 80s hair metal. Rust N’ Rage sports sophomoric lyrics designed to make you chuckle. Are these guys serious? For sure!
The fun part is that Vince, Johnny, Jezzie, and Eddy are barely 20 years old. Hell, the members of Rust N’ Rage weren’t even born when the hey-day of this genre of music reached its peak. That hasn’t stopped them from channeling some serious rock riffage. The guys hail from Finland and to be sure, this is the weakest Finish import I’ve ever heard. I’d peg them more from the Sunset Strip, Hollyweird. Eddy on bass and Johnny on guitar are adequate musicians. The guitar solos are patent 80s type solos. Nothing new here. Vince on vocals is a bit weak, like Vince Neil weak. But it all comes together to form the perfect 80s hair metal revival.
After a thirty second-ish instrumental opener, Rust N’ Rage begins their almost 90 minute trek with ‘Secret Highways’. The vocals are a bit thin but you shrug it off in favour of listening to the Iron Maiden inspired guitars. Indeed, some of the guitar parts are vintage Maiden. The guitar playing on “Showdown” is very chameleon like. Songs like ‘Locked and Loaded’ sound completely different. At first, it reminded me of an 80s cartoon theme song. But hey, “…you can’t take rock and roll from our souls…” Rust N’ Rage are definitely misplaced in time. ‘This Time’ is a straight ahead rock and roll song. It’s simple and catchy.
The highlight of the album for me is ‘Hit the Ground’. How can you not like a song that begins with a cowbell? C’mon. The only downside to ‘Hit the Ground’ is that the song deserves cowbell all the way through it! Luckily, I have my own. ‘Hit the Ground’ is another homage to all that was good in Mötley Crüe albums.
“Showdown” has a lot of really good elements and some really face palm worthy elements. But none of that really matters. “Showdown” is more of a kitch novelty album. I wanna see Rust N’ Rage live. I wanna see them opening for Steel Panther. The songs on “Showdown” have that almost but not quite totally unlike bitchin’ vibe. I don’t know if it’s the production or what, but the sound of “Showdown” leaves me flat and uninspired where I think, in a live setting Rust N’ Rage would kill.