Fatal Smile - World Domination (Special Edition) (Soundpollution)

If you like your rock and roll soaked in bourbon, if you’re not afraid to admit that there ain’t nothing wrong with a chorus you can sing along to with gusto, if you’ve ever wondered what would have happened had Rob Halford and Nikki Six got together in a recording studio with a mirror full of cocaine, a case full of good scotch, an unlimited supply of hookers (of either/or) and all the time they wanted, then you need to hear this album.

A reissue of Swedish sleaze rockers Fatal Smile’s 2008 album World Domination with two bonus tracks: this is an album that any self-respecting, make-up wearing, strategically torn t-shirted, beer- swilling glam rock pig should already own. If you don't, now you can make up for your sins!

Of course calling an album World Domination is setting yourself up for a fall, but this is a band that has every reason to be cocky. With vocalist Blade sounding like a rougher, bourbon-soaked Rob Halford, and songs co-penned by semi-legendary 70s rocker/songwriter Paul Sabu, these bastards have really set the bar high for those who follow.  And the Rob Halford comparison is no coincidence – there is more than a touch of Judas Priest in this band’s sound – that is, if Priest had come out of the 80s and played the sleazy Hollywood bars that begat Motley Crue, W.A.S.P. and all those other drug crazed, big haired, rock stars that were prettier than their girls half the time.

Opening track SOB kicks off the party with its “Sex and drugs and rock and roll” refrain, the chorus pumping out, Blade’s voice coming across as rough as a two-dollar hooker, and guitarist Y running his manicured fingers over the frets pulling out riffs that would make Mick Mars proud. Then Stranger gives us some Halford-style wailing over a solid backbeat provided by drummer Zteff and bassist Alx (I’m not making these names up) and Y still just pulling hooks out of his ass and laying them down over the top.  But there’s not just Judas Priest and Motley Crue showing their heads here: Blade is more than capable of pulling out the odd David Coverdale/Paul Shortino blues shout as well. 

In fact, if there is a flaw with this album, it is that you get a couple of different styles floating over the top – the sleaze rock angle, the heavier sound of Judas Priest, and the bluesy early era Whitesnake are all touchstones that come up more than once on this album. For many that may cause confusion.

But forget the pigeonholing. Combine Paul Sabu’s excellent songwriting skills with Y’s musical arrangements and you’ve got some pretty damn sweet music. 

The song Fatal Smile is damn near perfect sleaze rock and Six String Gun isn’t far behind.  But then there ain’t a bad track on this album – from the commercial pop/rock of Run For Your Life, the heavy power of No Tomorrow, which sounds nothing like what the band looks (!), the cathouse swing of Primed And Ready, Too Far Down dragging Judas Priest into a back bar full of mirrors, make-up and the dirty side of town ...  These guys might look like they raided the Crue’s wardrobe but the music is much, much heavier, harder and uglier. 

Finishing with bonus track Pissed Off – a scream at the world at large that is one hell of a way to go out, this album will surprise a lot of people.  This is the new blueprint for sleaze, an album that shows you can be commercial without sacrificing your nuts, that you can throw down some heavy, hard riffs even with make up on!   This is the album Motley Crue were supposed to put out after Shout At The Devil. This is that promise finally come to fruition.  Now if you’ll excuse me, my glass appears to be empty and that girl at the end of the bar is giving me the eye.  Well, I think it’s a girl.

Fatal Smile's World Domination is out now on Soundpollution/Riot.