Full disclosure: I have never listened to a second of Mustasch until this album fell into my lap. I had heard of them, of course, but they always seemed to fly under my own musical radar. On one hand this is a bit crummy because that means I spent the last decade or so not jamming to their albums. On the other hand, it’s actually good because now they are a “new” band to me and I can scoop up their back catalogue.
If you couldn’t tell, I dig Mustasch and their latest full-length Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Heaven. Right from the start the music radiates from the speaker in classic rock/metal form, the kind that is best to crank up while putting back a few beers with the boys. “Speed Metal” is a raucous little number, a speedy passage that sets up the mood for what will transpire over the next 35 minutes.
“It’s Never Too Late”, “Your Father Must be Proud of You” and “I Don’t Hate You” all flaunt their muscles as each ebbs and flows the way great hard rock/metal should. Catchy riffs, memorable choruses, and a perfect “live” sound comprise virtually every minute of every song, resulting in an album that unfortunately seems to end too soon.
A ton of thought went into SLH, LLH and it just sounds like the Swedes have the time of their lives when performing, though it’s most evident on album highlight “The Challenger.” With supremely infectious rhythms and a kickass main riff, it’s got “instant classic” written all over it, one that will assuredly slay in the live setting. The song is so finely constructed it can easily be a radio hit. The same can be said about “It’s Never Too Late” as well, but since there’s no auto tuning, rapping, or the same sentence repeated over and over, that’s unlikely to happen.
Sounds Like Hell, Looks Like Hell is a splendid album. It’s heavy enough to kick some ass, but it’s not even close to anything resembling black or death metal. There aren’t any added studio dynamics to make shitty songs seem better. There aren’t any dizzying musical arrangements. There aren’t any mirrors, though there likely is a ton of smoke. There’s nothing cheap about this album; it’s just a meat and potatoes kickass slab of metal & roll.[Visit the band's website]