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Debbie Ray – ‘Slave To The System’

posted 2 Nov 2017, 09:29 by Paul Woodward

(Metalapolis Records)

Review by Woody

Swede’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 album and much like those bands I have just mentioned combine traditional eighties sleaze with a more contemporary modern rock sound. While it is hard to shake those comparisons when listening to this album, it never feels like a second-rate version of those aforementioned acts these songs quite easily match them and puts the band on a level playing field as far as appeal is concerned. So, if you like the BB and HS, then you can stop reading right now, 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 it is a real amalgam of varied influences going on in the song writing. Vocally we have that typical sleaze grit and snarl from vocalist Reine Heyer but he also has a smoother less attitude driven style which he lets rip on some of the bigger smoother melodies. As you’d expect from an album of this ilk you have snarling guitars, howling vocals and rip snorting rhythms, but this is equalled meshed together with chunky borderline metallic riffs, straight from the school of Nickelback and 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 evoke Skid Row/ Nickelback comparisons whereas the catchy as hell ‘Beautiful Monday’ amongst others scream Scandi sleaze hard rock just like the Backyard Babies!

There is lots of snarl and spitting attitude from the sleaze aspect of the band but it is counterbalanced by very melodic choruses and contains hooks aplenty that keep this modern rock record very much in commercial territory! I was really impressed 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 and trust me this album will appeal to fans of each of those sub genre’s, so give it a spin and hear for yourself!

Track Listing: American Nightmare / Slave To The System / All You Need Is Rock N Roll / Too Late To The Party / Made To Cry / Way out of The Wasteland / Sorry / Beautiful Monday / Promises / Find Myself / Gotta Get It Right / Living Without You

Album Rating: 8/10

Woody’s Essential Track: All You Need Is Rock N Roll