The fact that Sweden produces and exports brilliant bands from all kinds and styles of music is well-known to everyone. Actually, it has now become synonymous with perfection and it’s taken for granted; like talking about the Japanese code ethic or the phlegmatic British sense of humor. Nevertheless, one can’t help standing in awe with the quantity and the quality of those Swedish outfits especially when they manage to blow you away –even by the first time that you listen to them- and give you the impression…correction…give you the certainty that what you have in your hands is an instant classic that you will get to listen to it numerous times in the years to come! “We have heard those exaggerating words before”, someone might argue. I agree! I heard them, too. But, personally, I scarcely use them throughout my reviews in almost a decade here in Rockpages. So…you can reckon what’s the case with Casablanca and I urge you to pay close attention to them.
For starters, I was right in favor of the band due to the sheer choice of its name that brings in mind both the classic movie with Humphrey Bogart and the firsta label of KISS. Secondly, the presence of Ryan Roxie in Casablanca adds that extra element to an already experienced group of musicians. Thirdly and most important: the songs themselves! This is a bunch of ten well-crafted hard rock compositions with their roots firmly found at the mid-80s but at the same time they sound refreshing! All of them are catchy with superb guitar hooks and riffs that make you wanna listen to them again and again before going to the next track!
In regards with the style of Casablanca…well, in my ears they are somewhere in the close vicinity of such bands as Hanoi Rocks, Dogs D’ Amour, Faster Pussycat and early Stones. Especially, the song “The Juggler” hides something of the Midas touch of Jagger and Richards.
Chris Laney behind the mixing desk has come with yet another excellent production but this time the record sounds like a…vinyl as it breathes an air of an analogic approach. “Apocalyptic Youth” is the debut album by Casablanca…watch out for them, buy their album because I think that we will be talking about them for a long time.
Highlight: The band is gearing up for a Swedish tour in the spring of 2012.