Lipz – Scaryman

Rating: 3.5/5
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Band Line Up:

Koffe Klintberg – drums
Alex Klintberg – guitar, Lead vocals
Conny Svärd – guitar, backing vocals
position open – Bass, backing vocals

01. The Awakening
02. Scaryman
03. Star
04. Get Up On The Stage
05. Fight
06. Get It On
07. Falling Away
08. Tick Tock
09. Trouble In Paradise
10. Everytime I Close My Eyes (Acoustic – Bonus Track)

Some time after glam faded away, Sweden started a revival, something that was a short lived experiment but one they won’t quite give up hope on. Straight out of Stockholm, Lipz are one of the newer glam revival bands, and while many have not lasted, Lipz have taken some time to get started. First noticed in 2011, brothers Alex (vocals/guitars) and Koffe Klintberg (Drums) along with their friend Conny Svärd (guitars) released a single in September 2012, ‘Ghost Town’. To begin with Alex was a guitarist only, but unable to find a suitable lead he decided to take the role on himself. They began to seek a bassist to fit in and their struggle led to it being another 3 years before they released their EP ‘Psycho’. Now after another 3 years they finally emerge with their first full album. Still unable to recruit a bassist, Alex played bass on the recordings.

Street Symphonies Records & Burning Minds Music Group had scouted the band very early on in 2011, eager to release a record. However, with the delays and issues with needing additional band members this did not happen. Therefore, they were very excited to learn the band were finally in the studio and jumped on board to release ‘Scaryman’, which they see as an album that takes them back to their youth. The band certainly epitomize the look that glam rock needs to work, and while the sound is very much 80’s rock, there is one difference that seems to mark them out as different to bands like Faster Pussycat, Poison or even Motley Crue. Or maybe we have just got used to glam with a bit of sleaze thrown in.

The opening prelude ‘The Awakening’ is a short instrumental track that leads you to expect something very different. It suggests something more symphonic and epic than glam and frivolous. With its thunder crashes, heavy breathing and barking dog, it paints a sinister and dark picture which then breaks into another fairly short track, lending its name to the album. ‘Scaryman’ is not the least bit scary, it has a childish naivety, bright and fun and slightly bizarre. By track three it is obvious this band are oblivious to music genres beyond 1991. ‘Star’ is a happy sounding tune, the musicianship is not breathtaking but competent, the vocals pleasant to the ear, it is not meant for anything other than entertainment. With that in mind the message from ‘Get Up On The Stage’ simply celebrates the joy of being in a band and playing for an audience, the thrill and excitement of the show.

Lipz get a bit more grown up with ‘Fight’, a song about surviving and staying alive. Still managing to stay upbeat and cheerful sounding, they ooze positivity, despite the sensitive subject. The songs are a little one paced, full headlong dashes, there is no shortage of energy or vigour. ‘Get It On’ explains why, as they proclaim they are unstoppable. If this was a real 80’s band there would be a lot more innuendo and double entendre than Lipz dare to risk. ‘Falling Away’ is a heartbreak song, but a nice heart break, no bitterness or revenge, the vocals are tender at times. This is Mills & Boon Glam Rock, somewhat innocent and twee.

At last with ‘Tick Tock’ we see a little of the attitude Glam Rock should have, bad language and passion, anger and sass, this is by far the seediest of the songs on the album. It’s much more like the glam rock I remember from my younger days. Now they have found their angst, they are not letting go of it. The anthem ‘Trouble In Paradise’ is a rabble rouser, still cheerful in mood but it has a bit more punch, showing their darker side. Last song of the album, the bonus acoustic offering ‘Every time I Close My Eyes’ is in some ways the stand out track. The vocals are really suited to this track, but at the same time the song creates more questions just as the tracks run out and leave you wondering where this band are going in the future. Owing more to pop boy-bands and pop punk acts than glam, it has segments of familiarity about it while offering something different to all the other tracks on the album.

This is an enjoyable jaunt to days gone by, as a retro band it is pleasant and they don’t pretend to be ground breaking. However, it does come over as too nice most of the time. With the occasional show of the sort of attitude we expect, they would certainly benefit from a little more devilment and sleaze.  This music is not designed to test you or make you think, but just to while away 38 simple minutes with something enjoyable and fun. With that in mind, this is a great album for all those who insist glam is not ‘dead’ but it’s not likely to attract non-believers back to the sleazy side of the tracks. It needs a lot more dirt and sex to make me believe Glam is back.
Review by Lisa Nash