The Hellacopters - By The Grace of God (Cover Artwork)

The Hellacopters

By The Grace of God (2004)

Liquor and Poker

The Hellacopters are finally starting to get a good amount of recognition in the United States. In their native country of Sweden, they're already rock stars. Albums like Grande Rock and High Visibility have helped to establish them as monsters of rock. But after a lot of hard work and touring the states, attention from the American music press is finally starting to come their way, all for their new album.

And here's the problem with that: By the Grace of God is easily their worst album yet.

However, the Hellacopters' worst album, when compared to many other bands in this genre, holds up pretty well. There are some very strong songs, with all the intensity and rockin' that they've been known for. "The Exorcist" sounds the most like the expected Hellacopters formula, with but with some dissonant chord changes and a galloping tempo. "Carry Me Home", apparently the lead-off single, has very much of a 70's, Thin Lizzy feel to it. And in a rare moment of creativity, "It's Good But It Just Ain't Right" busts into an Isaac Hayes funk breakdown.

If only they could keep such interesting ideas going throughout the whole album. Way too many of these songs sound like throwaways from High Visibility. "All New Low", "Rainy Days Revisited", and the title track come dangerously close to being boring. The Hellacopters should know better than to write songs that don't go anywhere and that don't accurately capture the rock that they've been laying down for the last few years.

It's possible that they've gotten too comfortable in their position. They may think that they can write average songs and that people will love whatever they do. But The Hellacopters do not play a style of music that allows for slacking. As long as The Hellacopters are going to be a band, they need to buckle down and remember how they wrote such gems as "Hopeless Case of a Kid In Denial", or "Baby Borderline." And if they don't still have the rock'n'roll in them, then they should call it quits, instead of making an achingly average album like By the Grace of God.