01. Reap A Hurricane 02. Can It Wait 03. So Sorry I Could Die 04. Eyes Of Oblivion 05. A Plow And A Doctor 06. Positively Not Knowing 07. Tin Foil Soldier 08. Beguiled 09. The Pressure's On 10. Try Me Tonight
Everybody needs to have their spirits raised from time to time. THE HELLACOPTERS were always particularly good at such things, delivering seven soil-scorching albums between 1996's seminal "Supershitty to the Max!" and 2008's "Head Off" swansong, and nearly always sounding like the greatest, coolest and most celebratory rock 'n' roll band in the world. Founder and frontman Nicke Andersson has busied himself with all manner of projects since, not least the very nearly as good IMPERIAL STATE ELECTRIC, but the long-awaited return of his most successful band feels both necessary and extremely welcome. "Eyes Of Oblivion" is exactly what was needed, too: a balls-out hard rock record, ten songs deep, no messing about. Fourteen years have passed since they last released any new music, and the Swedes have clearly approached this comeback with the care and attention to detail that it deserves.
Not that any of this is rocket science, of course. THE HELLACOPTERS always excelled when they gave mischievous nods towards the past, while frequently serving up songs of equal quality to the ones they were saluting. That remains true on "Eyes Of Oblivion", the only difference being that this feels crafted and coherent in a way that none of the previous albums were. The opening brace of "Reap A Hurricane" and "Can It Wait" are the high-energy money shots that diehard fans will have been waiting for, but instead of rattling along at the same pace, Andersson's crew switch to lavish, bluesy, soul rock grandeur for swaggering ballad "So Sorry I Could Die", sounding utterly at home with the conceit. The title track follows, and it's an instant classic: an effervescent guitar hook welded to a gleaming chassis of muscular power-pop, it's almost BOSTON-like in its audacious catchiness. "A Plow And A Doctor" and "Positively Not Knowing" keep the fires burning, the latter at a tooth-dislodging punk rock tempo, but it's the goofed-out glam rock of "Tin Foil Soldier" that leaps out as this record's most unapologetic moment of fun. Like the bastard child of T. REX and CHEAP TRICK, it's almost lethally upbeat and would surely have been a monster hit had it been released 40 years ago. Frankly, it still deserves to be now.
Sealing the deal with the laidback, shuffling "Beguiled", the strident radio rock of "The Pressure's On" and the final, spiky barroom brawl of "Try Me Tonight", THE HELLACOPTERS make it all sound like the most natural thing in the world — a timeless, joyous blast of unpretentious, overdriven snot 'n' soul. It's like they never went away.
BLABBERMOUTH.NET uses the Facebook Comments plugin to let people comment on content on the site using their Facebook account. The comments reside on Facebook servers and are not stored on BLABBERMOUTH.NET. To comment on a BLABBERMOUTH.NET story or review, you must be logged in to an active personal account on Facebook. Once you're logged in, you will be able to comment. User comments or postings do not reflect the viewpoint of BLABBERMOUTH.NET and BLABBERMOUTH.NET does not endorse, or guarantee the accuracy of, any user comment. To report spam or any abusive, obscene, defamatory, racist, homophobic or threatening comments, or anything that may violate any applicable laws, use the "Report to Facebook" and "Mark as spam" links that appear next to the comments themselves. To do so, click the downward arrow on the top-right corner of the Facebook comment (the arrow is invisible until you roll over it) and select the appropriate action. You can also send an e-mail to blabbermouthinbox(@)gmail.com with pertinent details. BLABBERMOUTH.NET reserves the right to "hide" comments that may be considered offensive, illegal or inappropriate and to "ban" users that violate the site's Terms Of Service. Hidden comments will still appear to the user and to the user's Facebook friends. If a new comment is published from a "banned" user or contains a blacklisted word, this comment will automatically have limited visibility (the "banned" user's comments will only be visible to the user and the user's Facebook friends).