Norwegian rockers Wild Side return in 2010 with their sophomore release, Speed Devil, with a new vocalist and second guitarist on board. Echoing the music that made the Sunset Strip famous in the 1980's, Wild Side could be the doppelganger, if not a curious imitation, of Motley Crue. Certainly, new singer Joachim Berntsen is cut out of the same cloth as Vince Neil. With eyes closed, you may wonder if the band didn't audition until the found that signature voice. Even the music is reminiscent of that era, generally, and Crue more specifically, especially on the songs Live Forever and Wild One.
However, the distraction, and therefore general disappointment, here is that few songs truly 'pop' or have the punch to grab your attention. Without doubt the songs are well-composed with generous melodies, hooks, and excellent guitar solos. Yet, with the exception of the aforementioned and possibly Eagle and Speed Devil, Speed Devil is honestly derivative by definition. Even cranked in the car, I never felt like speeding; now, that's telling. Nevertheless, Wild Side's Speed Devil captures the mood and formula of 80's melodic hard rock. But that formula could be their undoing without some more chutzpah in the tunes in the future.
Wild Side's Speed Devil captures the mood and formula of 80's melodic rock. But that formula could be their undoing without some more chutzpah in the tunes in the future.
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