SKELETOR - HellFireRockMachine

Skeletor - HellFireRockMachine

11 songs
46:22 minutes
***** ****
Go Nuts


Let's face it: since The Strokes and The White Stripes made it really big, rock'n'roll has become just another fashion, once again, and 98% of similar bands at the moment make their sound only an exercise in the genre, without really rocking. Everything is played so perfectly but also bland that at times you wonder if what you hear is a punk band gone rock'n'roll or an alternative combo dressed in black leather or whatever. And then there's Skeletor. The cover artwork is a total cliché, of course, looking like a third rate Motörhead clone, but I decided to listen before reading up on the band. Already the opener Rockit! more than fulfilled my expectations. This is the rock'n'roll I grew up with, hopping somewhere between the godfathers AC/DC and Rose Tattoo, and second generation followers like The Almighty. From there on it's ten more straight forward rock'n'roll songs, with heavy yet melodic guitars, an astonishingly clean but effective production and a very streetwise sounding vocalist, who is of course light-years away from the backyard lyricism of a Bon Scott or Angry Anderson, but still manages to convey a sense of fuck you attitude that's equally distant from MTV consensus rock.

And while most rock bands these days come from Scandinavia and the American East Coast, you will find yourself surprised that Skeletor are from Hamburg, Germany, a location more known for its failed Germanist students that anger the world with whiny proto indie rock.

HellFireRockMachine is Skeletor's second album, after a debut that was released in 2000, and I hope that we will hear much more from them in the future. Apart from the opener, it's songs like the astonishingly melancholic Spader and the arena rocker Bitch Keeps On Rockin' with cool backing vocals that are the heart and soul of this album, although the other tracks are also more than rewarding, compared to the generic, bloodless pseudo rock we are delivered by the big labels these days. Nine groovy points for an album that may never really try to sound exactly like the unreachable originators, but that would have made a perfect figure in the late Eighties with the rise of second generation rock'n'roll.

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