Ear to the sound

Hellacopters – Head Off by quickfixx

Hellacopters announced that their latest effort, entitled ‘Head Off’ will be their last and is to be accompanied by a farewell tour that visits most of Europe, including the UK. The album has been given excellent reviews but many are dubious as the album contains no new original material from the band. The cover album takes lesser known Swedish bands songs, in what has been stated by the band as an attempt to get them noticed, but also because the songs are written in the vein of Hellacopters. Well, it has to be said, before reading this on the Hellacopters website that this was in fact all their own work. Go on, listen to it and you will see intirly where i’m coming from. The songs all have something they share with previous Copters tunes especially those on albums ‘High Visability’ and ‘Rock & Roll is Dead’.

The album kicks off with a tune suitable for the summer season to come, ‘Electrocute’ displays the bright side of the legendary Swedish group. The song is totally positive and catchy and you’ll have a struggle not putting it any summer playlist you may be compiling.

‘Midnight Angels’ is a slower number but is just as strong, with Nicke Andersson’sunique vocals laid over the top this song is such a feel good tune, it will just grab you by the collar and throw you into the summer.

‘I’m Watching You’ picks up the pace again and you can really hear the resemblance to older Hellacopters songs, the powerful guitar parts aren’t overpowering however as the song takes a more dramatic turn than previous tracks.

‘No Salvation’ was made to played on the radio, it’s simply brilliant and would have been my first choice for a single. Unfortunately it hasn’t been released on it’s own yet, but still. The song has that anthem of a chorus that you could easily slip into singing with mates, as long as they have a good a voice as Andersson who is, let’s be honest the main attraction in the band.

Next is the band’s first single off this album, ‘In The Sign Of The Octopus’ has a brighter feel to it, the guitars really stand out as the powerful riff drives this song.  The chorus is, yet again, one to sing along to and would be a real treat when performed live.

‘Veronica Lake’ is a truly solid song, the tension of it makes you want to just jump about and have a bit of a party. Not much needs to be said about it, take a listen yourself and you will see exactly what I mean.

‘Another Turn’ seems slightly more powerful, with the guitars playing a greater role but the lyrics keeping a positive swing to the whole thing. It’s just a great song “Rainbows in your eyes” says it all really, doesn’t it?

Far from being an attempt to come out of the Ikea cupboard, ‘I Don’t Know About Girls’ turns into what can only be described as a rather old school style song, with influences from across the board but a hint at Hanoi Rocks and slightly Rolling Stones.

The piercing vocal power of Andersson really shines through as he delivers powerful vocal after powerful vocal. ‘Rescue’ is really edgy and this is emphasised by the pauses in the the pre-chorus. Simply a good song.

Again a more old school sounding one, but adding a modern twist towards the chorus, ‘Making Up For Lost Time’ has a really good swagger to it that captivates you totally. The whole guitar combination is really effective and the tone produced is probably the best on recent albums.

‘Throttle Bottom’ is simply a speedfreak of a song. Tapping your foot is compulsory, even if it wasn’t you wouldn’t be able to help yourself. I’m telling you, you will by now be dreading the end of the album. Oh yeah, and the guitar solo kicks ass!

Last song time! It is a good tune to end on, and it really sounds heartfelt. The minimalism is great and just shows the quality that the band can play with and the Keyboard makes simply a great contrast at the end of the song.

The Hellacopters are saying goodbye throughout the Autumn on their last tour, with dates confirmed for the UK and soon to be announced for Scandinavia. The album is brilliant, truly a great album and although not their own material, it should be shoulder to shoulder with their back catalogue. I couldn’t have wanted anything more from a last album, all that is left now is for me to get more and more excited as the London date comes closer!


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