Boozed / December Peals - Back in the Back of a Cadillac (Cover Artwork)
Staff Review

Boozed / December Peals

Back in the Back of a Cadillac (2008)

Chorus of One

In my last review of a European release, I acknowledged my faulty thinking regarding a belief that much of what was coming out the continent was off the radar at best, and at worst, not worth the attention it wasn't getting. Apparently, I spoke too soon.

Titling a split release with a line off an AC/DC lyric sheet, it should have been apparent before hitting "play" what was going on here. Two bands. One derivative sound of cock-rock meets Southern-style pop-punk (i.e. River City High minus the hooks). Thirty-five minutes of unpleasantness, as terrible American (and Australian in one big way) music is replayed by less accomplished German imitators.

Bramsche's Boozed is the first band on the split, and certainly the bigger of groaners between the pair. As mentioned in the brief but still entirely accurate description above, Boozed plays classic-era rock with a slight punk kick, but not enough to sound interesting or fresh. What makes these six songs under the Boozed banner so unbearable isn't the cheesy riffage or butt rock, clapping rhythms, but the shrill, Brian Johnson-aping backup vocals that pierce through the eardrum like a mosquito attack. Add an uninventive and uninspired cover of Madonna's "Like a Virgin" to the mix, and you've got a recipe for disaster.

December Peals offers somewhat of a less reprehensible approach, but unfortunately doesn't deviate terribly from where Boozed went wrong. In fact, the split's closer "Back in 98" may be just as bad or worse than anything on the first half, featuring a repetitive blues-rock riff and slide guitar break. The band somewhat redeems themselves with "Collapse," which hears December Peals at both their most aggressive and most melodic.

There's no shortage of jocks and fratboys in the US drooling over copies of Highway to Hell and Back in Black, but then again, that particular band does boast Angus Young and gets a little help from mainstream radio. But for juvenile European copycats, I can't see too many folks on either side of the pond getting excited about this.