Boba Fett

REVIEW: The Hellacopters – Head Off (2008 Vinyl Disc)

THE HELLACOPTERS – Head Off (2008 Wild Kingdom Vinyl Disc)

If you don’t know what a “Vinyl Disc” is, that’s OK.  It was a niche format that only last a year or two.  Essentially it’s a CD with an LP groove on the label side.  You could get over 80 minutes on a single disc this way, by placing a bonus track on the vinyl side.  The Hellacopters, however, aren’t an 80 minute album kind of band.  Head Off, their final CD, is only 35 minutes long, plus a 3:20 bonus track on the vinyl side.

Head Off is a covers album, but having heard none of the originals, that wasn’t immediately obvious.  They usually do songs you’ve never heard of.  Covers or not, Head Off is a pretty great collection of the kind of hard rocking melodic gems that the Hellacopters usually specialize in anyway.

The hands-down best track is the last one on the CD:  “Darling Darling” originally by The Royal Cream.  Hard rock with melancholy melody and a guitar solo that slays.  There’s even a Kiss “Easter egg” in the Hellacopters’ version.  We already know they are Kiss fans since they even have a track called “Paul Stanley”, using a bit of one of the man’s awesome riffs.  This time, the Hellacopters lifted a lick that Paul plays live on the intro to “Black Diamond”.  You can hear the lick in the outro, at the 3:00 mark in “Darling Darling”.  The original is found in “Black Diamond” at the 18 second mark, on Kiss Alive!  The Hellacopters turned it into one of the best hooks in “Darling Darling”, and it happens to fit like a glove.  A leather glove, with tassels.

Back to the start, the album opens with a punky rock and roll vibe.  “Electrocute” is by a Swedish band called Demons, and this excellent boogie-woogie will make you want to check ’em out.  Another killer, “Midnight Angels” (The Peepshows) is melodic rock nirvana.  How are these not the biggest rock songs in the world already?  “I’m Watching You” (The Humpers) is a blitz, heads-a-bangin’ along.  It slows a bit on “No Salvation” (The Turpentines), which turns towards down a darker alley, though just as ear-pleasin’.  “In the Sign of the Octopus” (The Robots) is like a vintage Kiss track circa Love Gun, lost to the ages but just as good as the songs you remember.  The Robots stole my love!  The New Bomb Turks are covered next on “Veronica Lake”, pure good time punk rock.  Boogie piano makes it accessible to even the strictest hard rocker.

The CD continues to rock through track after track of brilliance that you’re probably unfamiliar with.  Every song is stuffed with hooks and melodies, no ballads.  The Hellacopters treat each one with the kind of guitar thunder they’re known for.  There are no duds anywhere on the entire album, and even though it’s all covers, it’s not uneven or inconsistent.  You would completely believe that all the tunes were originals, if you didn’t know ’em.  “Rescue” (Dead Moon) could have been a Hellacopters song, easily.  Even the soulful “Making Up For Lost Time” (The Bellrays) sounds natural to this band.

The only track that is a letdown is “Straight Until Morning” (The Powder Monkeys), the bonus track on the vinyl side.  As discussed in the article about Vinyl Discs, the audio quality on this side is utterly atrocious.  Especially when compared to the sharp sounding CD side, this track is flat and noisy.  It is, however, the heaviest and punkiest song on the album, so perhaps this is appropriate?  Even intentional?

Ignoring the sonic issues on the vinyl side, which was really just a novelty factor, Head Off is worth a solid:

5/5 stars

This limited edition also included a pin and a patch, so if you’re looking for your own copy, make sure it’s complete!


EPIC GALLERY: 6″ Star Wars Black Series collection #3 of 3

A series of vignettes featuring my open collection of 6″ Star Wars Black Series! I wanted to show each figure’s features in detail. These are really fun to play with, and display incredibly well. Were you born in the 70’s? Then enjoy these and play along.

For gallery #1, click here.

For gallery #2, click here.


EPIC GALLERY: 6″ Star Wars Black Series collection #1 of 3

A series of vignettes featuring my open (and one sealed) collection of 6″ Star Wars Black Series!  I wanted to show each figure’s features in detail.  These are really fun to play with, and display incredibly well.  Were you born in the 70’s?  Then enjoy these and play along.

This series is dedicated to the memory of George Balasz 1969(?)-2014.




REVIEW: The Hellacopters – Disappointment Blues (EP)


THE HELLACOPTERS – Disappointment Blues (1998 EP, Augogo)

I don’t know too much about this EP, but when I found it at my local record slinger for $6.99 (plus 20% off, sweet!) I had to snap it up.  I only have three other Hellacopters albums: on vinyl, Grande Rock and Payin’ the Dues.  On CD, the more polished and streamlined By the Grace of God.  Finding a Hellacopters EP for under $6 was a no-brainer.

Disappointment Blues seems to compile a five rare non-album singles and compilation tracks, with two new songs (“Ferrytale” and “455 SD”).  It seems to be designed for the Australian market as it advertises several 1998 Aussie tour dates inside.

It’s another raw, high-energy rock n’ roll batch of songs, not too different from Grande Rock or Payin’ the Dues.   In the liner notes, the band refers to their sound as “hot action rock”.  Sounds good to me!  The tempos are fast and falling apart at the seams.  The riffs are early Kiss on speed, the solos pure rock n’ roll.  The songs meld together in the memory like one marathon tune with a little breathing space between sections.  Again, much like Grande Rock or Payin’ the Dues.  The bassline on “Speedfreak” is taken from the Lemmy Kilmister book of licks, the song itself could have been on any Motorhead disc.

Best song:  the title track, which has a little more emphasis on melody and is totally memorable.

Best band member:  the piano player because he goes by the name of Boba Fett!

4/5 stars