Camp Rock by Razorbats ranked highly in many ‘Best of 2015’ end of year lists, mine included. Lead single Kids of the 70s had all my favourite elements of rock ‘n’ roll. Punk, glam, power pop, the better parts of 1970s rock; it really had it all and soundtracked many a motorway drive as I kept reaching for that repeat button.
It’s been two years and things have changed in the Razorbats’ ranks since then, most notably the departure of singer Even Berg, for understandable and justified reasons. A band at that point are faced with an ultimatum. Knock it all on the head or take the very risky plunge to opt for a new mouthpiece at the mic stand. Some of their UK contemporaries have been faced with the same scenario, yet have continued and gone onto bigger and better things; see The Hip Priests or The Black Bullets. These Norwegians are no different and won’t be held back, and so it’s on with the show. Enter Paul Erik Vercouteren, a swashbuckling frontman with charisma akin to that of Sulo from Sweden’s Diamond Dogs.
At this point, fans of old will be ready to judge and hold court on whether this will still be like the Razorbats of old, or will it be a total departure and failure. Fear not, the transition is smooth and Razorbats now sound like, well, Razorbats!
Social Rejects is the lead single and it lands on 10th November 2017. It has all the elements of the band’s previous successes with neat guitar licks from Kjetil and a lifted chorus to chant from the perspective of these outcasts and in dedication to those of the same mindset suffering with alienation. The one thing I love about certain Scandinavian bands is the lyrical crossover to English. Some may say it’s primitive, but like early tracks by Hanoi Rocks before them, to my British ears it just adds to the charm and mystique. With the poppy rock production on Social Rejects, this ditty pleasingly wouldn’t have gone amiss on the Töilet Böys’ self-titled opus in 2001.
Granted, Social Rejects may not be as instant as Kids of the 70s et al, but on repeated listens it beds in and the vocal hook firmly plants itself in your head and leaves excitement at what the future holds. Cue much rubbing of hands in anticipation.
After recently signing to Rob Mules Records and on viewing the label’s teaser video for the upcoming album in 2018 (linked on this here page), it’s clear that the new LP is gonna be littered with singalong tunes galore and the snippets have left me more than hungry for more.
Beware! Razorbats are back, proudly flying the flag for the ace Scandi Rock genre and it’s a pleasure to report they’ve still got the bit between their teeth. It’s time once more to thank the rock ‘n’ roll Norse Gods for giving us Razorbats. Ginge Knievil