Every now an again you come across bands that make you scratch you head. You sit there listening to a new band that has a sound that is all over radio and MTV yet no ones heard of them or give them their chance. The Champagne Charade is one such band with a sound that has hints of the 80s metal bands mixed in with some of today’s hits amongst the high school crowds, like Paramore or Flyleaf.
At first listen you figure it’s just another rock band with a chick on vocals, but the difference here is that Saetia LaReoux can sing. Unlike the aforementioned Paramore and Flyleaf who are just trying to scream and moan to stardom, Saetia has the abilities to do it all. She can thrill you with her intensity and still blow you away with the range and power that she has. Listening to every song you can see her putting her all into each song, much like the great frontmen and women of the bands of the 80s.
Take the song Tainted Blood for example, which could easily be the single off of Glitter City. It’s a fast and upbeat song that highlights Saetia’s vocal range and intensity in one song while giving a nice throw back to the days of Twisted Sister and Motley Crue where the band chimed in as a whole to add that extra unexpected hit to the lyrics. And the overall use of guitars throughout makes you wonder if someone invented a time machine and took Rob Hughes (AKA Bobby Venom) and Kaedon Gray back to the 80s to learn the skills directly from that time.
I listen to their dueling guitars and I’m instantly remind me of the way Iron Maiden has blown people away with similar talent for thirty years. In Death Walks At Midnight is where this truly shines as Bobby and Kaedon split duties on the solo to really seal the song away. And that’s only one place that you can find them abilities as guitar solos are spread throughout the album, another missing element in today’s music. Its bands like this that need the attention or the labels before guitar solos become a forgotten art form connected to the 80s.
The sad part of this story is that drummer Chris Crypts has recently departed to pursue things away from the music industry. And that will be a hard drum kit to fill because he stands out in every track, setting the pace and saying “hey I’m here too!” I wish him the best in his future ventures but he has surely made his mark here. But that doesn’t mean it’s the end of The Champagne Charade.
Glitter City is a strong and solid album from beginning to end. It’s a nice blend of intensity and fun that the bands of the 80s brought to us. And they even have a power ballad on the album, Meant To Be, which could easily be the song to get them massive radio time on the top 40 formats. And its ironic because as I see it, The Champagne Charade is meant to be big.