Leaded Fuel- Inhale and Get Pale

Y'know, I've had this feeling that if a spree killer were to take random murderous potshots from an observation tower in any Swedish city at least twenty glam/sleaze bands would be mourning the loss of a band member. I'm convinced that, while us veteran UK based glamour fanz were at school - young, dumb and full of sums - reading A Kestrel For A Knave and watching Ring Of Bright Water, our Swedish counterparts were reading In Cold Blood and watching Rock 'N' Roll High School.

Stockholm's Leaded Fuel are a cool looking band. Vocalist Liz Lascivious cuts an imposing figure, part Dave Lepard, part Paul Blittz, although the more vicious of voyeurs would point out that he possesses more than a passing resemblance to Vim Fuego. So, given the band's heads up in the image stakes, it comes as something of a surprise to see the album cover adorned with a basic cartoon of the band in a car that is more Janet And John than Junkyard inner sleeve. The Confederate flag background - in the blue and yellow of Sweden - would appear to be a naive use of a controversial symbol rather than an act of rebellion.

It's all about twenty year cycles, ain't it? If Crashdiet were Sweden's two decades later equivalent of Motley Crue, then I'd put Leaded Fuel on a par with D'Molls. Whilst Liz Lascivious might have Lepard hair, he doesn't have the voice. I read a recent review of the band that compared his voice to that of Iggy Pop. Either that reviewer has never heard Iggy Pop or I have finally located my two missing cotton buds. Lascivious reminds me of Jesse Camp. Sure, the much-maligned former MTV VJ wasn't blessed with the sweetest pipes but he was passionate about his music and flew the glam flag when everyone else was counting crows. Camp ended up with a Ric Browde produced album crawling with dogs d'amour and I, and I'm sure Lascivious, would be happy with that.

The subtly titled 'Dirty Bitch Boogie' features suitably ludicrous lyrics and a crazily catchy set of backing vocals. Bass-led ear botherer 'Hostage Situation' and 'Rip It Up' offer the real highlights of the album. Ballad '231 Miles' threatens to veer into Hanoi territory. 'Max Rear Traction' is a curious mix of cowbell, twin guitar harmonies and eyebrow raising, wine glass smashing King Diamond style dog whistle vocals. 'The Way We Are' is a live in the studio acoustic piece that, given its rawness, graces the album with a strong finish.

'Inhale And Get Pale' is an above average release that, whilst never really setting the night on fire, will provide this young band with a solid foothold at this wet behind the shark tooth earring stage of their career. And, in drummer Iron Kongo, Leaded Fuel have given me my favourite rock star name of 2008.

by Gaz E.

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