Charm City Devils
"Let's Rock-N-Roll"

(Eleven Seven Music 2009)Charm City Devils - Let\'s Rock-N-Roll

There’s one thing you need to know about the Charm City Devils that will serve as all the background information you need to get kick started on this Baltimore band: they were the first band signed to Nikki Sixx’s Eleven Seven Music. It’s true that the Charm City Devils do have some of that bad boy, “Girls Girls Girls,” down and dirty, hair metal/power pop rock vibe. But the band is a little less obvious about it. Instead, much of the time, the Charm City Devils sound like AC/DC but without Angus Young’s killer guitar riffs and licks.

For being fronted by John Allen, drummer of vaguely memorable ‘90s poppy and edgy rockers SR-71, the Charm City Devils start out looking pretty tough. The album’s title track, “House Fire,” “10,000 Miles” are blazing AC/DC sound-alikes and “Night Is Dark,” with its bluesy hard rock, show that the band can hold their own. But the holes in their rocker armor show with tracks like the ballad “Best Of The Worst” – on which Allen gets sensitive: “I’m not like all the other bad bad boys who loved you first/I know I’m not perfect but baby/Maybe I’m the best of the worst” – and over the top rock tracks like “True Love (Hell Yeah)” and “Money” come off somewhat generic – not that the band doesn’t work their asses off to sell them.

In terms of mirror time, the Charm City Devils will definitely take less time to get ready than Nikki Sixx. But they’ll probably take more time that your girlfriend (or, ladies, yourself). What’s most disappointing about the Devils’ album is that it’s too safe, standard and by the book. They don’t have a special trick to lure you in nor do they have any instrumentation to knock your socks off. Look, guys, even if you’re not bad boys, pretend to be. We girls go for that sort of thing. And so do other music fans.

C+

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