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The renowned speaker-blowers are back with their fourth and final volume in their series of EPs titled “A Coffin Full of Hellcats”.
Opener ‘I Never’ is one of their usual sound check warm-up songs, a bluesy ballad that lets you savour Alessandro Benigno’s smoky vocals over heavily flanging guitar that retains their as-ever retro rock appeal. It’s another case of the duo broadening their horizons as they have most notably in “A Coffin Full of Hellcats Vol.3”. They’ve started slowing things down occasionally in aid of greater contrast and variety while still maintaining enough crunchy bits to please the rockers.
This is followed by ‘Feeling Good’ wherein they demonstrate their love for pushing and pulling at tempos. A relaxed shuffling verse is countered with a faster chorus. The scream that Benigno emits before the bridge is nothing short of skull-shattering. When they played in town last week I remember the exact moment that this happened because Bam Bam Brown, sitting across from me, turned around and looked at me with a look of joyful awe on his noise-loving face. A few minutes later guitarist Warwick Rautenbach was standing on a table between us, playing his guitar to death, needless to say the energy on all EPs translates into an insane live performance.
Everything is dialed to 11 for track three, ‘Slide in.’ The signature overblown fuzz guitar blasts out a mix of stoner and blues rock by the megaton countered with energetic drumming and the occasional searing scream. This is the Hellcats’ natural habitat, one of raunchy half-time breakdowns and DIY mayhem.
With “A Coffin full of Hellcats Vol. 4” the Hellcats show no sign of slowing down as a band. To the contrary, each effort has allowed them to strike a balance between classic sounds and new sonic territory. For fans of all things old school and rock- related it’s a must-have.
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Listen to “A Coffin Full of Hellcats Vol.4” below on Deezer.