Release DetailsLABEL Liquor & Poker Music
RELEASED ON 1/24/2006
Rock & Roll Is Dead
posted on 2/2006 By:
Kind of a funny album title for a band that, with the exception of their earliest material, have been almost alone in cranking out flawless retro rock for the better part of a decade. And like their last few albums, there’s not a huge difference between this one and previous work but there’s a few changes afoot. The first thing I noticed was a cleaner, more 60s style, guitar tone which is quite a change from their usual dirty 70s rock style. This new tone carries over a bit in the songwriting as some of the songs here have that happy jangly guitar style reminiscent of so much of the 60s rock. For me this is a bit of a drawback as I’m a bigger fan of their dirtier stuff as it’s far more original. Otherwise they tend to sound almost exactly like The Rolling Stones as evidenced on songs like “I Might Come See You Tonight”. However The Stones never lay out thick, screaming 70s solos so I guess the comparison only goes so far.
For those of you that might be thinking this is a totally different album than previous work, there are throwbacks like “Bring It On Home” which kill it from start to finish but that’s about the only super rocking song. When you mix this lack of balls out rockers with atypical songs like southern fried ballad “Leave It Alone”, it leaves a slight pang for the all rock all the time feel of their previous work. Still, what hasn’t changed in the least since their transformation from punk n’ roll band to hard rock heavyweights is the trademark heavy tamborine and piano filled choruses underlined with just a slight hint of decadent glam rock sheen. This, and their absolutely flawless execution, is what really puts The Hellacopters at the head of the retro rock pack. Add in elements they’ve been experimenting with on the last couple albums, like the gospel style backup singing on “No Angel To Lay Me Away” and the church organ on “Murder On My Mind”, and it’s easy to get to like this album. Still, they don’t bust out the big, fat solos as often as in the past and they don’t manage to match the frenetic rock pace of their last outing so this doesn’t quite get the double devil horns.
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