To say Hellions had set some pretty high expectations for themselves with Opera Oblivia would …
A double live album? In the age of Spotify and YouTube? You’d be forgiven for going a bit mad. Then one realises these retro-rock Swedes are doing everything like it was 1969; lyrics, sound, riffs, image, cover art, everything. So in the great tradition of Grand Funk Railroad and Lynyrd Skynyrd, we have Lady In Gold – Live In Paris.
Vocalist Elin Larsson takes the whole Janis Joplin incarnation to the limit on this album, smack bang in the middle of the mix like we’re hearing them direct from Montreaux or Pyramid stage. She’s got the pipes to carry it all off, too. First and title track is a record-flawless rendition, born in the atmosphere of a smoky club (yeah I don’t see that happening.)
If they want to release double live records, let ’em. They’re pretty bang on.
Tripped out fuzz and wah drizzles itself over Won’t Go Back, though the band aren’t doing some kind of Cream style wank session over the top of proceedings. Big Zeppelin-inspired High Class Woman unfurls the flag for heavy blues rock and signature tune Devil Man goes down a treat with the adoring assembled French.
There’s a big serving of blues (hence the name), psychedelia, rock ‘n’ roll and real soul on this double album. If they want to release double live records, let ’em. They’re pretty bang on.
STANDOUT TRACKS: Lady In Gold, Devil Man, High Class Woman
STICK THIS NEXT TO: Kadavar, Witchcraft, Rival Sons