By Dr. Abner Mality

THE HELLACOPTERS are back for the first time since they quit in 2008...that’s 14 long years without the high energy blues-infused rock n’ roll they have been known for. How much ring rust do they have, if any? Is this a worthy comeback...or yet another in a long line of “should have left it alone” moments we’ve been treated to in recent years?

With “Reap A Hurricane”, they sure sound like they have something to prove...this is heavy rock the way it should be done, with enormous hooks and thick guitars. If the whole album was like this, I’d be satisfied, but it isn’t...this is a real diverse piece of work, with a lot of sounds and influences. “Can It Wait” is short and very punky in its efficiency while “So Sorry I Could Die” is a sad, bluesy piece with honky tonk piano and a kind of SMALL FACES feel. Nicke Andersson’s vocals are very clean throughout the record...almost to the point of being AOR, which is not really THE HELLACOPTERS’ style.

But the energy of the record makes up for it. “Positively Not Knowing” is a bit of a scorcher, but to contrast, “Tin Foil Soldier” has a strong 60’s psychedelic touch to it, almost like an updated STRAWBERRY ALARM CLOCK. “The Pressure’s On” brings the piano back and “Try Me Tonight” ends things with a shot of dirty rock n’ roll. Speaking of dirt, I actually feel the record could have used a bit feels a bit overpolished at times. But not to the point where it kills the album. After 14 years in the hangar, THE HELLACOPTERS don’t sound too bad.