THE HELLACOPTERS – Rock & Roll Is Dead

THE HELLACOPTERS - Rock & Roll Is Dead


Psychout Records / Universal
Release date: June 6, 2005

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Rock & Roll Is Dead by The Hellacopters is the successor to By The Graze Of God (2002). Despite the contradiction within the title, the Swedes have once again, after more than ten years in the game, prove that Rock (and roll …) music still can be recorded in a fresh and airy way. That goes for the sound, which is one of the album’s strongest aspects. When it comes to the compositions and arrangements Rock & Roll Is Dead does not convey a whole lot of inventiveness.

The album hardly contains a single bridge one hasn’t heard The Hellacopters do in the past. All right, The Hellacopters have never been about discovering undug soil of the genre. They have always been caretakers of traditions, but this time around, it seems like they haven’t got any ambitions at all about writing songs that would stick out, not even from their own catalogue of songs.

This does not mean the album is not any good. Rock & Roll Is Dead is, in many ways, a joy ride. Put aside your eventually needs for something new. Clutch your favorite genre, and listen to how self-confident the guys of The Hellacopters are. Here are songs like the opener “Before The Fall” that opens the ball in a way that would make Status Quo proud … or jealous. Later on, you get songs like “Leave It Alone,” a strong reminder of the great Georgia Satellites, and “I Might Come See You Tonight” sounds like a leftover from Kiss’ Hotter That Hell sessions. This is all about Rock and Roll!

The highlights are the catchy “Monkeyboy” and “I’m In The Band,” the latter showing The Hellacopters from their most humorous side lyric-wise. These two are the only tracks to compete with their greatest works of the past. The single “Everything Is On TV,” the straight forward rock and roller “Bring It On Home,” and the groovy “No Angle To Lay Me Away,” are great examples of unceremonious and joyful ways of playing Rock music.

Their 2000 effort, High Visibility, is still the band’s best recording, at least in this millennium. Rock And Roll Is Dead adds little to this effort. Still, it’s tempting to recommend Rock & Roll Is Dead to quite a few out there. Normally one could say that a new album without many new ideas is for the fans only. This time around, it could be presented the other way. All those Rock lovers ignorant to The Hellacopters’ great skills as musicians, composers, and recorders should grab this brand new opportunity to get themselves introduced to what this band has to offer. All of you who already have discovered The Hellacopters; stick to your old records, at least as long as their new album remains at full price …


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