The Hellacopters mania started in 1997 thanks to my friend Tani. She was into more underground stuff than I was, and used to tell me about many garage bands I hadn’t heard of before. Yeah, I had this recurrent feeling of being an ignorant, something that really concerned and obsessed me a lot, till I came to the conclusion it’s just impossible to cope with so much music.
Anyway, Tani recorded Payin’ the Dues and I flipped. The Hellacopters were pure adrenaline, and energy completely out of control. Rough and super rockin’ guitars, aggressive yet melodic vocals, and dirty drums. It was as if classic rock and the filthiest punk had been mixed. Insane. Add a great name, an awesome logo and terrific merch and it was the perfect band for people like us. Needless to say it didn’t take me too long to become a huge fan.
In London I was very lucky to attend many shows when they introduced their third album Grande Rock. Dregen had already left the band to focus on Backyard Babies though. Never saw the original lineup on stage unfortunately.
Even though my favorite albums from the band are these two I’ve just mentioned, By The Grace of God was the settlement of the turning point of the band shown in High Visibility, also encouraged by the arrival of Robert Dahlqvist, aka Strings.
This transition meant the band leaving the punk side behind focusing on the classic rock, not aiming to keep on being the modern Swedish version MC5. Songs were very catchy and they delivered a bunch of hits, truth is that there wasn’t such nerve present in their songs anymore. It was a fact, The Hellacopters had changed.
Truth is that By The Grace Of God was, in my opinion, way superior than the previous, and back in the day the album was perfect for many reasons. On one hand thanks to the cover everybody felt in love with and wanted it to get tattooed (some of them did, not me). On the other because of the self titled super hit which opens the album.
Do you agree it’s one of the best starters ever? It became sort of anthem among me and my friends and wherever it was played, we used to sing passionately.
Most of the songs are excellent, but there are some I particularly love. Rockin’ Better Than You, Rainy Days Revisited is adorable, with Fett’s piano quite highlighted, powerful It’s Good But It Just Ain’t Right and The Exorcist are also amazing.
Pity The Hellacopters finally split. I relate them to many great times both here and in London, great live performances, night of booze and debauchery and an unforgettable period of time Grande Rock and By The Grace of God keep those memories alive.