Album review – HELL’S ADDICTION “Raise Your Glass”

hellsaddictionalbumI got my first, unforgettable taste of Hell’s Addiction when I watched the video for “Alcohol” on YouTube in 2012. It’s a deceptively simple video, shot in black and white. Four guys, looking like they just woke up after a night of drinking too hard and sleeping too rough, walk into a tiny little room and grab their instruments. Then, without further ado, they set off a gut-ripping, chest-thumping, blistering hot blast of rock’n’roll that captures exactly what it feels like when you’re roaming the streets and bars on a good weekend, desperate to party your brains out.

The four guys with the stick-of-dynamite energy from that video are Luke Morley on drums, beating that kit with enough power to jumpstart your heart; Jason Green on bass and Liam Sargent on guitar looking and sounding as though they’re about to rip the strings off their instruments with their fingers; and frontman Ben Sargent with a voice that is all booze and gravel and broken glass – it’ll scratch your ear-drums to shreds in a very pleasurable way.

Together, they play a fierce and furious combination of hooky old-school rock’n’roll, hard rock with an occasional metal twist, all of it welded together by a gritty and feverish punk-rock heat.

I had high expectations for this album, and “Raise Your Glass” does not disappoint. The first track, “Feels Like Rock N Roll” has a rollicking, classic 60s/70s beat to it, with Sargent’s voice and the band’s energy pushing things into party-hard territory. The guys crank it up another notch on “Let The Good Times Roll”, a party-rocker with the great drunken pickup-line “you got your tits in my face, come on baby, gimme a taste”.hellsaddiction

“Alcohol” still holds up as one of my favorite tracks, but there are lots of other goodies too: the swinging and rumbling “Heaven Sent Me”; “Feel The Fire” with its heavy 70s rock vibe and Morley outdoing himself on drums; and “Big Bitch” with some delicious bass, thumping riffs, and lots of ear-pleasing guitar-work.

Even on the one slow track, the hit-worthy “Brand New Story” the band keeps it heavy and fierce, with a slow-burning intensity smouldering below the bluesy guitar. On this one track, Sargent’s voice decloaks briefly to let some vulnerability shine through before going full-frontal with the roughness again.

The album closes with “Raise Your Glass” and “Wings Of An Angel”, two head-banging, punishing slamming tunes; with no angelic choirs in sight.

Rough, raw, and relentlessly rocking – that’s Hell’s Addiction for you. This is not refined music, it is blistering and bruising, with the influences of old-schoolers like AC/DC and Motorhead, and maybe even some Sex Pistols bristling through. Crack open a beer, crank this album up as loud as you can, and get ready for Hell’s Addiction to set off the explosives.

Hell’s Addiction’s official web-page / Facebook / Twitter / YouTube

Lineup:

  • Ben Sargent: vocals, guitar
  • Liam Sargent: lead guitar, backing vocals
  • Jason Green: bass, vocals
  • Luke Morley: drums

Track-list:

  1. Feels Like Rock N Roll
  2. Let The Good Times Roll
  3. Heaven Sent Me
  4. Breaking Free
  5. Feel The Fire
  6. Big Bitch
  7. Alcohol
  8. Brand New Story
  9. Raise Your Glass
  10. Wings Of An Angel

(This review was originally published at Hard Rock Nights.)

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