This Swedish rock quintet consists of members that have been in the scene for several years and a former football player! Specifically, Casablanca are: Anders Ljung (Space Age Baby Jane) on vocals, Ryan Roxie (Alice Cooper and Electric Angels) on guitars, Erik Stenemo (Melody Club) on guitars, Mats Rubarth (former Swedish national team football player) on bass and Josephine Forsman (Sahara Hotnights) on drums. They also performed along with the soprano Malena Ernman (she took part at Melodifestivalen 2009 with this song) at Melodifestivalen 2010 (Swedish Eurovision Festival) with the song “La Voix”. The rock cover they did was very good but I can’t tell why they didn’t include this song on the album as a bonus track at least.
“Apocalyptic Youth” is the debut of the band… balancing between sleaze rock and alternative rock music… with elements from the 70s, the 80s and the 90s as well. They’ve got various D-A-D (especially the vocalist reminds of Jesper Binzer a lot), Hanoir Rocks, The Rolling Stones (90s era), The Hellacopters among others influences… and their sound is closer to the 90s… bringing to mind the D-A-D 90s period. I can’t help but think sometimes, when I let myself enjoy the music… that I’m listening to D-A-D. Is this too bad? Yeap, if you are looking for a personal sound and not to be a copycat… it’s not so flattering. Anyhow, the guys can actually play… and their songs… although they do sound smoother than any of the other bands of the genre… have some nice arrangements and hooks. The production is great and clear, as the album was recorded in the legendary Swedish Polar Studios, mixed by Michael Ilbert (Roxette, Per Gessle, Sator) and produced by Chris Laney (H.E.A.T., Europe, Crazy Lixx). The two singles “Downtown” & “Love and Desperation” along with the homonymous tune are actually the best songs of the CD.
They won’t rock your world in any way… but they will make your time flow nicely while listening to their music. They can do better… but they also need to add more creativity, originality and rock power to their tunes… at least that’s my point of view.