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Scandinavia Mania! CRASHDIET/CRUCIFIED BARBARA Live In Ottawa

By Andrew Depedro, Ottawa Corespondent
Saturday, April 27, 2013 @ 8:53 AM

CRASHDIET & CRUCIFIED BARBARA Crush Ottawa At Their New Playground Along With DIEMONDS, SNAKESKYN WHISKEY & DOLL At Mavericks, Ottawa, Canada, April 7, 2013

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Once again I've helped forge Canada-Sweden diplomatic relations through the love of metal. And yet DFAIT employ me for research and data entry. Luckily my job doesn't define me outside of work....

Featuring two well-known Swedish bands and a couple of up-and-coming Canadian bands, the Savage Underground tour surfaced in Ottawa with the aim to shake the city's foundations then rebuild that same city on rock 'n roll. Normally, billing a band with the mantra of "grunge never died" on a tour package comprised of modern day glam bands should sound like the worst PR move in the history of the entertainment business since Jimmy Fallon decided that the cast of Duck Dynasty should mellow out to Morrissey on his show. The difference is that local rockers DOLL are so well-known for their musical versatility they can - and have - played with bands well outside their spectrum. That and also frontwoman Christina Kaspar and her husband guitarist Pete manage and operate Blackwidow Promotions which brought this tour and several other high-profile hard rock/metal tours to Ottawa in the past regardless whether or not they get to play on them. That night they - alongside drummer Nick Richer and bassist Alex Vance - were also part of the live experience on top of bringing it over and cleaning up after it. With their second full-length disc The Ragdoll Diaries the quartet brought their blend of gritty punk and streetwise hard rock to an ever-growing audience and with songs like "F.M.O. (Fuck Me Over)", "Youth Of Today, Hope For Tomorrow" and "Plastic Lies" as well as a solid cover of THIN LIZZY's "Jailbreak" they've been experimenting with, DOLL demonstrated that their musical adaptability can be achieved with a slight degree of commonality. It's why they've gone over well at other festivals such as the Ottawa Bluesfest, NXNW and D-Tox Rockfest. And possibly beyond. There's always hope for tomorrow after all.


Having just come off from touring with DORO and SISTER SIN recently, Toronto's sleaze metal dealers DIEMONDS are riding on a wave of surging popularity ever since their debut full length disc In The Rough dropped back in 2008. On this tour, they're riding high on the success of their follow-up album The Bad Pack, having clocked some credible road time which included appearances at several prestigious festivals ranging from Rocklahoma to Heavy MTL to a high-in-demand tour of India - all before they landed a record contract for said album. For this performance, the band's setlist included selected songs from both albums and what I could make out to be a new song titled "Saviors And Sinners" (it was bass player Tommy Cee's birthday at the time and the rest of the band insisted that we drink to his ascent to manhood that night thus the large intake of alcohol may have clouded my understanding of the new song name). I was able to remember how much ass that songs like "Highway", "Take On The Night", "Get The Fuck Outta Here", "Livin' Tonight" and others kicked when played live thanks to the street-smart stage savvy of frontwoman Priya Panda and the playful twin guitar attack of CC Diemond and Daniel Dekay. That's one way to become big in India. Shine on you crazy motherfuckers.


Outside of a full-length debut album and an EP as a teaser for their upcoming sophomore discVicious there's not much known about Montreal's SNAKESKYN WHISKEY in comparison to the previous two bands that had opened for them but given that they've only been a band for two years their exposure to touring outside of their home base has been understandably limited. Their addition to this show might propel them to co-headlining status mostly through catchy numbers such as "Before I Fall", "Keep Screaming" and the awesomely-titled "I Hate When Pretty Girls Are Married" and the high-quality riffing of lead guitarist Justyn Vynn. Time will tell if SNAKESKYN WHISKEY decide to put out more. They were definitely in demand after their performance that evening.


I can't deny that the band I was looking forward to seeing the most that night were the first of the two Swedish rockers to conquer the stage - specifically the all-female quartet CRUCIFIED BARBARA who were on their first trans-continental tour promoting their latest disc The Midnight Chase which dominated their setlist that night. The sassy, punk-laden rock driven attitude of songs such as "Shut Your Mouth", "Rules And Bones", "Rock Me Like The Devil" and the title track were the absolute stand out tracks of the evening, with the dual guitar attack of Mia Coldheart and Klara Force invoking the playful spirit of 70's Joan Jett and Lita Ford. For the added cuteness factor Klara even announced how Canada had a special place in her heart as she told the story about how she experienced her first kiss as a teenager when she was at a youth camp just outside of Ottawa one summer. Mia added to the story by giving Klara her millionth kiss (on the cheek though). And a moshpit automatically went all moist as CRUCIFIED BARBARA captivated a new audience.


Headliners CRASHDIET may, by appearance, look like the worst collection of 80's New Wave also-rans ever assembled. And they take pride in it which allows for the music to do the talking though talking was not what the band wanted to do without the rocking as a backup. Luckily they delivered on both thanks to their sleazy streetwise hard rock infused with good ol' DIY punk ethos (because there has to be a valid reason for frontman Simon Cruz' Billy Idol-inspired mohawk being sported that night). Opening with "Change The World" from their recent album The Savage Playground, the Swedish quartet put on an energetic 90-minute set that consisted of current material and tracks from their earlier material such as "Riot In Everyone" and "Breakin' The Chainz" from their breakout album Rest In Sleaze. They even managed to sneak in a chaotic cover of NIRVANA's "Territorial Pissings", which for glam metal fans is often the equivalent of when Bob Dylan decided to go electric during his folk period (so that's what appealed to DOLL about opening for CRASHDIET. Their motto was "grunge never died" after all) and it worked. Closing with their current hit "Cocaine Cowboys" and the crowd favorite "Generation Wild" by the midnight hour, the crowd cried more, more, more with a rebel yell (damn your distracting mohawk Simon!) once the sounds of Playground began fading and CRASHDIET had finally conquered North America. Catch this band once they hit up your own playground in the near future.



  • "Change The World"
  • "Circus"
  • "Anarchy"
  • "Rebel"
  • "Breakin' The Chainz"
  • "Lickin' Dog"
  • "Queen Obscene/69 Points"
  • "Territorial Pissings" (Nirvana cover)
  • "Garden Of Babylon"
  • "Riot In Everyone"
  • "So Alive"
  • "Cocaine Cowboys"
  • "Generation Wild"

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