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THE HELLFREAKS – ‘Astoria’ Album Review


The HellfreaksAfter a split up by end of 2014 and a period of a creative re-invention, The Hellfreaks came back with Shakey Sue at the helm and a completely new line-up with a big portion of punk rock attitude and started with a tour through the USA in Summer 2015. The Hellfreaks toured in California, Arizona, Nevada and, in 2016 the band finished the recordings of the long awaited 3rd album, Astoria.

The album departs from the bands psychobilly roots and delivers a melodic punk rock approach. The opener, Burn The Horizon opens with a radio style vocal announcement before launching into a fast paced punk rock frenzy with some neat guitar licks and meaty chords. There is a Dead Kennedys vibe albeit with strong female vocals.

After the excellent first track, The Hellfreaks speed things up with Why Do You Talk where the drum and bass backed verses set up a full on 100mph chorus and this one just shakes the building to the foundation…phew! Third up on the ten-track album is Rope with the MLK “Let Freedom Ring” speech introducing a superb angst ridden punk rock track that circles its way into your very soul. On Wolf the echo infused vocals on the verses nicely set up a soaring chorus with the whole track reminding me of The Joy Formidable albeit a little more raw and urgent.

I’m Away moves along a terrific pace with a melodic vocal and some strong guitar work matching the excellent rhythm section and it is followed by Dawn where The Hellfreaks just show the listener that they can go faster and harder with some excellent musicianship opening up a corker of a punk rocker!

By now, it should be clear that I love this album with its diversity, mixtures of punk, shoegaze and indie all blending into a strong effort with the bass driven Come Around just compelling you to form a circle pit in the office/bedroom/kitchen or wherever you listen. The sheer ferocity is followed by Your Call and the band don’t give you a second to breathe as they pummel you into submission with an extended instrumental introduction that is only slowed down when the vocals enter and slap on a huge dose of melody to the song! Sid And Clyde builds into a ripsnorting rocker and is followed by the penultimate track on this album, Back To My Planet where some dirty bass supports a rocking and rolling track where the vocals and overall sound reminded me of Beki and Vice Squad (and that is a huge compliment.)

Ending this terrific album with Little Crime, The Hellfreaks crank up the guitar a notch more with a metal like intro and vocals with a feel of Paranoid Visions or Animi Mundi and there is a soaring guitar solo just to wrap things up nicely.

Seriously, get this one here




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