Wednesday, September 18, 2013

The Hellacopters - Rock and Roll is Dead

This was the last all-original release by the group (the final album was the covers-only Head Off) and while they were becoming more and more melodic and clean by this point, this is still a fine slice of Swedish rock'n'roll, despite the title!

Opening with a stolen Chuck Berry riff in "Before the Fall", the boys show the connection between 50's r'n'r and modern day punk'n'roll - things haven't changed all that much, in a way - it's still all about the passion and the energy. It's kinda hard to wrap my head around just how clean the guitars sound here, overall, but regardless, they manage to riff and wail throughout the tunes. Much poppier than most of their work, there are still some darker edges, like the minor-chords dominating "Everything's On TV" or the tale of addiction in "Monkeyboy" (with it's deceptively happy-pop melodies) or "Murder on My Mind". Almost all of the songs are fast'n'rockin', especially the out-of-control "Bring It On Home", which has some especially good lyrical twists ("give me god and the holy ghost, peanut butter and jelly toast") and a wild wah-wah solo. But, they do slow it down on occasion, such as for the 70's-styled ballad, "Leave It Alone", where they add some pretty female backing vocals. There are some humorous numbers, as well, such as "I'm In The Band", with its story of not being recognized by the bouncers as you're trying to take the stage, and "Nothing's Terribly New" with its spelling of "n-o-t-h-i-n, n-e-double-u". Lots more rockin', catchy tunes and riffage throughout this record, including the two bonus tracks and two video tracks. Nowhere near as intense musically as some of their other work, but I still pull this out more than most other bands, cuz the songwriting and the playing is still stellar. Get the early work first, but if you truly love rock'n'roll, you will most likely want to get everything you can find by these gents!