Casablanca: Apocalyptic Youth

Apocalypse sometimes.

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Scandi-rockers Casablanca feature former Alice Cooper sideman Ryan Roxie alongside members of Sahara Hotlights, Melody Club and Space Age Baby Jane. On bass, bizarrely, we find Mats Rubarth, a former left-winger for Swedish football club AIK.

Apocalyptic Youth is a promising debut reminiscent of Hanoi Rocks playing Thin Lizzy’s back catalogue. When Casablanca are on song they’re very good indeed – notably on the rampant title track, with its huge, clattering chorus; The Juggler, which is full of rolling, reflective Lynott-isms; and the triumphal Rich Girl (‘She never lets the sunshine touch her skin’), characterised by some wonderful ringing guitar work.

Sadly the quality dips on formulaic stompers Downtown and Beast Of Summer, the album reaching its nadir with the cringeworthy couplet: _‘I’ve found my destination/Between love and desperation’. _Erratic songwriting aside, there’s no doubt that Casablanca are the real deal.

A raddled cynicism pervades this record, and there’s a surprise in store on Deliberately Wasted when frontman Anders Ljung proclaims that, contrary to the song title, he’d actually prefer a glass of milk and an early night.

Geoff Barton

Geoff Barton is a British journalist who founded the heavy metal magazine Kerrang! and was an editor of Sounds music magazine. He specialised in covering rock music and helped popularise the new wave of British heavy metal (NWOBHM) after using the term for the first time (after editor Alan Lewis coined it) in the May 1979 issue of Sounds.