Debbie Ray - 'Slave To The System'

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Debbie Ray - 'Slave To The System'

They combine traditional eighties Sleaze with a more contemporary Modern Rock sound.

Sweden's Debbie Ray follow hot on the heels of fellow Scandinavian Hard Rockers Backyard Babies and Hardcore Superstar. 'Slave To The System' is their second full-length album and much like those bands I have just mentioned, they combine traditional eighties Sleaze with a more contemporary Modern Rock sound. While it's hard to shake those comparisons when listening to this release, it never feels like a second-rate version of those aforementioned acts; these songs quite easily match them and this puts the band on a level playing field as far as appeal is concerned. So, if you like those aforesaid bands, then you can stop reading right now and just go check out Debbie Ray and enjoy... you're welcome!

I also get touches of 'Slave To The Grind' era Skid Row and Nickelback on many of the songs, so there's a real amalgam of varied influences going on in the song-writing. Vocally, we have that typical Sleaze grit and snarl from Reine Heyer, but he also has a smoother, less attitude-driven style which he lets rip on some of the bigger melodies. As you'd expect from an album of this ilk, you have snarling guitars, howling vocals and rip-snorting rhythms, but this equally meshes together with chunky, borderline Metallic riffs straight from the school of Nickelback, as well as very strong and prominent smooth melodies, most noticeably on the choruses.



'All You Need Is Rock 'N' Roll' is their radio-friendly Rocker with a huge melodic chorus and a slightly softer guitar sound to make it more accessible. Some of the songs have strong Americanised flavours, like 'Slave To The System' and 'Way Out Of Wasteland', and they evoke the aforementioned Skid Row/Nickelback comparisons, whereas the catchy as hell 'Beautiful Monday', amongst others, scream Scandi Sleaze/Hard Rock just like the Backyard Babies!

There's lots of snarl and spitting attitude from the Sleaze aspect of the band, but it's counterbalanced by very melodic choruses while also containing hooks aplenty which keep this Modern Rock record very much in commercial territory.

I was really impressed with this and found the album to be very enjoyable. The Modern Rock tag may put some Sleaze and Melodic Hard Rock fans off but the styles are blended effectively. Trust me, this album will appeal to fans of each of those sub genres, so give it a spin and hear for yourself!

Paul Woodward

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