The Hellacopters - Rock & Roll Is Dead
Liquor & Poker Music
Retro Party Rock
13 songs (40:22)
Release year: 0
Liquor & Poker Music
Reviewed by Mike

The Hellacopters are a Swedish band that were formed in 1994 by Entombed's Nicke Andersson and Backyard Babies co-founder Dregen. Over the past 10+ years, the band has become widely known in their homeland of Sweden and in Europe. During that time, they've toured with bands such as Kiss, The Foo Fighters, and The Rolling Stones. Rock & Roll Is Dead is the band's sixth studio album. Despite all that, this album is my first exposure to this band. The tongue in cheek album title, along with some of their lyrics is fairly representative of the band's sense of humor.

Rock & Roll is Dead is a great slab of retro hard rock that almost certainly was created using old guitars and amps. I say that because the band has very faithfully captured the guitar tone of the 60's and 70's on this album. I hear a lot of "surf's up" and summer beach party type of rock on this album. Picture some of the early guitar driven rock bands of the 1960's, but heavier and more electric. Additionally, the party rock sounds and vibes of bands such as Sweet, Slade, Kiss, and Foghat are very evident. The band uses the "rock" piano frequently throughout the album. When this is combined with some of the heavier cuts of the album, Riot's Rock City album comes to mind. There's even a tambourine that makes spotted appearances throughout the album. Although the band lives off its retro feel, the production is very tight and crisp.

Big guitars comprise the meat of the sound on this album. Lively guitars, including very flamboyant solos lead the way. Obviously, the energy is contagious as the drums are just as manic as the guitar work. Also, the songs are short and to the point, as they were back in the "old days." Not a single track exceeds four minutes, with most clocking in right around three minutes. The songs do have enough variety that combines with the short running time of each track to keep the album fresh from start to finish. You have "beachy" sounding 60's tunes, humorous party rock tracks, bluesy tracks, and even a big nod to the Rolling Stones with Leave it Alone. Still, each track has a common denominator of fun, guitar driven rock and roll of yesteryear. Since the songs are quick to deliver their point, and then move right into the next song, the album very easily jumps on you. If you like straight forward, catchy tunes, you'll appreciate each song here, and it won't take very long.

The Hellacopters have put together quite an honest, fun, and energetic old school rock album here. There's nothing new or complex about their music, but you have to appreciate how well The Hellacopters make retro sound new again. In a time where so many albums bitch about politicians, remind us of terrorism, and the general misery of day to day life, it's nice to hear a fun, album like this. Too bad it's the middle of winter, because this is the perfect album to accompany the back yard BBQ, complete with a few cold ones.

Killing Songs :
Before the Fall, Everything's On TV, Murder On My Mind, I'm In The Band
Mike quoted 75 / 100
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