The ‘80s rock scene in Los Angeles is a well-documented piece of musical history: from its rise in the early part of the decade to its crash in the ‘90s when grunge hit, knocking the wind out of most of L.A.’s glam bands and expunging them off the charts and their record labels. While many will say the music of the glam era was more about style than actual music, Sweden’s Glitzy Glow have managed to release an album that puts the music first without losing the flash of that fabled age of debauchery and hairspray that was the Sunset Strip back in the “decade of greed.”

Coco Chanel once said: “Fashion changes, but style endures.” Chanel was right; though fashions come and go, it’s style and substance that matter. Sweden’s Glitzy Glow’s self-titled debut album firmly secures them atop the New Wave of Swedish Sleaze scene that includes bands such as Crucified Barbara and Crashdiet and is full of musical merit with a pinch of glitter thrown in. From the opening riff of “Now is Never Later”, Glitzy Glow sets the tone for a twelve-song rock fest full of attitude and volume. Lead singer Julia has a Pat Benatar-esque voice that is powerful and seductive, and when she sings “Do I please you?/ Well I don’t give a fuck!” on “Strike the Right Note” one cannot help but believe her. “Black and Sunny Day” is another lovelorn song full of catchy hooks and harmonies. This is the pièce de résistance of the album: upbeat, infectious, and melodically pungent even through its melancholy lyrics.

Guitarist Wingz makes this album soar (no pun intended). His playing is the driving force behind the songs on Glitzy Glow. His guitar work shows no mercy throughout the album, forging chords and solos that practically come shooting out of your speakers like fiery daggers. Glitzy Glow even throw in a ballad for good measure, the somber “Dragonfly” full of regret and orchestration, while “Leopards Going Wild” shows the band’s fun and sassy side as Julia sings about the joys of non-conformity. In keeping up with the imagery that is associated with the Sunset Strip music scene of the ‘80s, “Evening Faces” paints a picture of the sordid atmosphere that drips out of every rock club once the sun goes down. Bassist Johnny Roxxy and drummer Daniel Jackzin keep the rhythm section reverberating throughout the duration of the album, giving Glitzy Glow a sound that is tight yet loose enough to make you want to dance.

Glitzy Glow has put out an album of extraordinary measure: full of pop hooks, flippant sentiment, well-constructed metallic badassery, and slick sounding choruses. There is nothing stale or dated about this album. It’s a true testament to what happens when a band can find the right balance between sound and style, and it should only be a matter of time before their Swedish glow is radiating over American airwaves.

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