Overall Score: 9/10 Retro Fuzz Rockin': 9/10 Feelgood Factor: 9/10 Potential World Cup Anthem: 10/10 Pros: Wall-to-wall high energy fuzzy rock'n'roll! Cons: Where've you been for so long?!
The boys are back in town! After a smattering of reunion shows and occasional teasing with the idea of a full-blown The Hellacopters comeback, here we are with a shiny new album from Sweden’s stonking retro-rockers. Eyes Of Oblivion is the first The Hellacopters album since they signed off with Heads Off all the way back in 2008.
It’s been a while coming, but Dregen is back in the band for the first time in this Millennium, a new album is about to drop and we are actually allowed out of our houses… it looks like the stars may have finally realigned for us Hellacopters fans.
Let’s talk about lead single Reap A Hurricane. It’s a typical driving rocker with dualling guitars and a catchy anthemic chorus. Oh yes, that chorus… as catchy as it is, and we don’t want to plant ideas in your head, but it sounds a bit like (a lot like) “we’ve got Harry Kane”. On the upside, if we do well at World Cup ’22, this could be the anthem that catapults Hellacopters into the mainstream. We can see the BBC montage now… Reap A Hurricane plays over the footage of Harry Kane bagging the golden boot award. Aerosmith’s Dream On may be more appropriate.
Seriously though, there are some seriously grand tunes here on Eyes Of Oblivion. Tracks like A Plow And A Doctor flow with the typical swagger of The Hellacopters; Nicke Andersson’s effortlessly cool vocals mix up with the 70s-rooted keyboards to create a hazy fuzz of rock ’n’ roll. Dregen and Andersson combine to add that all important guitar crunch to proceedings and altogether we just about have the classic The Hellacopters sound.
Never a band to deal in epics, there isn’t a song on this LP that reaches the five-minute mark. Short, sharp and to the point is what The Hellacopters do best. Can It Wait and Tin Foil Soldier are prime examples of cutting out the unnecessary flab from a song. Blink and you’ll miss ‘em!
So Sorry I Could Die is a bluesy respite from the superfast flurry of guitar-driven anthems. Taking a more laid-back approach, this piano driven number reeks of tobacco smoke and whisky and shows that the band may have matured a little over their years away. Not too much though, as the title track soon kicks things back into fifth gear.
We’ve been waiting a while for the return of The Hellacopters and the band certainly haven’t disappointed with Eyes Of Oblivion. This new album is jam-packed with nice and simple feel-good anthems synonymous with The Hellacopters. There’s not quite the same amount of bubblegum snarl of their early releases, but the new slightly matured version of the band still have the rock ’n’ roll attitude by the shedload.
Eyes Of Oblivion releases April 1 via Nuclear Blast Records.
For more information on The Hellacopters, like their offical page on Facebook.