"Thank You For The Demon", early 2014), and Ralf have been busy with both touring and various TV appearances (Swedish Idol and Swedish Fort Boyard just to mention a couple).
Despite this insane speed they are holding right now, they still seem to find time to evolve the band in the process. The music is very recognizable, you can easily extinguish Ralf's unique and manly voice, and most of the riffs are true to the history of the band, but it is the urge for evolution that makes "Testosterone" a unique and interesting experience. Because despite its name, "Testosterone" is probably the most melodic and soothing Mustasch album up to date. A lot of calm experiments takes most of the focus here, which could potentially split the fans in half. I always welcome new ideas and directions, especially for bands that more or less has a certain sound to them, so I was a little impressed when I heard the album for the first time.
If you after reading the last paragraph fear that the band has turned into something extremely different, calm down, the change is not THAT drastic. It may be awkward at first, but once you get used to the thought, it is a good chance that you will appreciate such songs as the symphonic opener "Yara's Song" and the spiritual "The Rider". I am more uncertain to what role "Dreamers", "The Hunter" and Someone" has though, but I guess they are a side effect to this evolution. You cannot be perfect the first time you try out something new.
But ultimately it is the classic Mustasch material that goes loud in my cabin, because it acts as sort of a safety blanket among these new, unexplored grounds the band has taken us to. The best example of this is "Down To Earth", a speedy and catchy mauler that is more Mustasch than that part of the beard with the same name. A great, epic anthem that might be their best one since the amazing double sandwich "Double Nature" and "Bring Me Everyone" from "Latest Version of The Truth". I am sure it will have a reserved spot in the set list when the band goes out on the road later this fall. Other classic Mustasch moments in this album are "Breaking Up With Disaster", the single "Be Like A Man" and the epic title track that ends the album in terrific style.
So despite having less of it than most other Mustasch albums in the discography, "Testosterone" is a nice, fresh listen that could be the stepping stone for the band's future. It does suffer some growing pains, which does make it a fairly uneven experience, but the potential is certainly there, and I am very curious to see were it will lead. Well, if the band continues on the same pace as always, we will not have to wait too long for the next part of their evolution.
Songs worthy of recognition: Down To Earth, Yara's Song, Testosterone
Rating: 7/10 Dreamers