With many sleaze bands invading from the northern part of Europe, it's not a regular news for a French band to join the hordes. Blackrain's debut, displayed a series of songs in the likes of non-American modern glam movement, Crashdiet, Crazy Lixx, Hardcore Superstar, to name a few. Still under heavy influences from Guns N' Roses, Motley Crue, or Poison, Blackrain blasted a barrage of hard-hittin' rhythm with high-rise scream galore.
"Rock Your City", opened with a cheesy unconvincing "hey hey hey" chant, but unexpectedly turned out to be a pure full of excitement in-your-face rock n' roll, definitely a good start, promising a prospective materials ahead. Swan, and yes that's the stage name of the singer, could be annoying sometimes with his screeching wail, but that guy got a super throat I must admit, slicing between the gritty Axl Rose and the ground-razing Steve Whiteman, and he seems can hit an even higher note than both of em.
"Innocent Rosie" got an 70s rock touch, blended well with some party hooks, apparently this song has been around for sometime before they released the whole album, and though many people seemed to like it, the song doesn't click well with me. Instead, I prefer the title track which got a dirty-and-mad rhythm of early L.A.Guns. "N.A.S.T.Y" and "True Girls Are Sixteen" are both great upbeat kickin'-ass tracks which I dig as well. "No Forever" stands in between as a wonderful ballad which could be a great W.A.S.P ballad as Lawless writing style is explicitly shown all over the song.
The second half of the album is even harder and bounced constantly from heavy metal, hard rock, and even thrash. You can hear the double-pedal drumming occasionally in tracks like "Rock N Roll Is Dead, Long Live Rock N Roll" and "Party N War". I kinda like the classic glam vibe in "Rock Stars Don't Go To Jail" (a hillarious title by the way), a good track but lack of memorable chorus unfortunately. "Kill Em All" (no, it's not Metallica!) is a pure heavy metal slap, truly enjoyable, but Swan slightly ruined the nice flow with an ultra-high voice, you hardly catch the words he sang.
"License To Thrill" is definitely a good start for the band. Judging by this debut, I can see many potentials they can exploit in their next record. Max 2 also plays his guitar very well with an admirable riffs and solo exploration. Swan is no doubt a great singer and he doesn't need to keep hitting the unnecessary high notes just to prove his ability. If they can work out the weak points here and improve the songwriting skill, I'm not surprised if they can garner a lot of higher ratings on their future release.