Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Colapso Nervioso

A couple of weeks ago I posted The Hellacopters first album Supershitty To The Max. This is their second one, Payin' The Dues. Great songs on this album are You Are Nothing, Like No Other Man, Psyched Out And Furious and the real awesome Colapso Nervioso. The vinyl version contains an extra song called City Slang. Enjoy!

It’s been a long time since bands laid down burnt offerings to the gods of guitar worship in the way the Hellacopters do on Payin’ the Dues. Probably starved for attention since Warrant fell out off the face of the planet, the guitar gods grant the band a minor miracle, letting them wear their Motorhead influences on their sleeve without looking too hokey.

Blasting through a record drawing heavily on early glam rock, the Hellacopters put stock in the power of a Marshall stack as if it were 1974 again. Working its way through 10 studio tracks and seven live ones on the bonus disc, the band plays rock with a capital R, though all the while its members manage to keep its volume from going to their brains and driving them into a decibel-fueled frenzy of cliché.

It’s almost hard not to picture the band dancing among flames as they play their brand of rock’n’roll. From its dual-guitar assault to its domineering rhythm section, the Hellacopters take rock back to its noisy heights. Featuring more flash guitar work in one song than most bands put in an entire album, such as the solo in "You Are Nothin’" or throughout "Soulseller," the Hellacopters let their fingers do the walking with Payin’ the Dues, though at times the band’s penchant for guitar tricks leans more toward theatrics and self-indulgence than rip-roaring rock and roll. There’s a lot to be said about simplicity; most of it could be laid on the Hellacopters as if it were a fresh new musical theory.

The Hellacopters also find a few new twists to their glammy sound, though the moments are relatively rare. "Twist Action" feeds on a hidden ‘50s rockabilly vibe, though its one kept well hidden under the band’s searing glam rock, giving the track a bit of spice not found on its other tracks. "Colapso Nervioso," though a switch from the band’s sound with an odd blend of psychedelic percussion and minimal guitar work, proves less workable sounding fragmented and lacking the energy of the rest of this record.

In the end, however, the band’s sound proves too worn out to find a whole lot of life of its own. Though massacring their fingers in six-string gymnastics and knocking out rhythms louder than the entire cast of Stomp put together, the Hellacopters still continue to walk in the shadow of their influences. While giving fans of longhair rock a sizable chunk of ear candy, its one tasting similar to older vintages, so much so that the band will have to hunt down a few more wrinkles of its own to shine in the already overcrowded world of glam.

(By Matt Schild at

The Hellacopters - Payin' The Dues (1997)

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