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Hellacopters : By The Grace Of God

...guaranteed to make you feel an unfettered, gloriously unselfconscious love of rock 'n' roll...

Hellacopters : By The Grace Of God

7 / 10 As the New Rock Revolution continues to avalanche, that quantity/quality ratio is inevitably going to increase. How long before Detroit produces a pale also-ran? When can we expect the garage-rock Menswear, Thurman or The Hellacopters could never be described as bandwagon jumpers. This is their fifth proper album. They have been hawking their overblown, cartoonish take on punch-the-air, in-your-face American garage rock for a decade or more, directly inspiring the likes of The Datsuns along the way. You'd have thought it would have worked for them by now. All the important elements are in place - dumbo riffs, spur-of-the-moment lyrics and - most importantly - hair. They have a lot of hair. In fact, they look like five malnourished Guns N' Roses roadies, or a bunch of strung-out trolls. They've also studied their specialist subject - stadium rock 1974 to 1984 - very, very closely. They love Queen almost as much as they love Van Halen and Motley Crue. And, as befits a band who once released a song called 'Paul Stanley' in honour of Kiss' singer, they really mean it. When fellow Scandanavians Gluecifer work a similar shctick, they keep an eyebrow arched at all times. The Hellacopters probably couldn't even spell irony. The way that they rattle along at full pelt will invite suggestions that they're just Status Quo to The Datsuns' AC/DC. But that's unfair. Only the most bad-tempered, mealy-mouthed and uptight would deny The Hellacopters and their infectiously cheesy posturing.

Look at that cover. Just look. It has a shaft of lightning bursting out of a cloud. You're not going to get that with Doves. The there's the lyrics. Take the Roy Walker-style 'It's Good But It Just Ain't Right', which contains one of the best lines of the year - "Ended up on a donkey when my mama sat on a horse". What does that mean? Who cares? Then there's the spooky B-Movie theremin on 'The Exorcist'. Does it get any better? Well yes, it of course it does. But that's not the point.

The Hellacopters will not change your life. They may not even change your day, but for the 40 minutes that they are on your stereo they are guaranteed to make you feel an unfettered, gloriously unselfconscious love of rock 'n' roll. And right now that's enough.

Paul McNamee

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