The Hellacopters 

Rock & Roll Is Dead

On Rock & Roll Is Dead, Sweden's favorite sons of bitches come flying out the gate with "Before the Fall," a swell Chuck Berry-meets-MC5 ditty that harks back to the Hellacopters' nitro-burning early daze. But the album quickly settles back into the arena pop of the band's last two CDs. That's not necessarily a bad thing. "Everything's on TV" rewrites a couple of tunes from the last record, but it's instantly sticky nonetheless. Even when the album starts to blur into Thin Lizzy territory ("Murder on My Mind," "Put Out the Fire"), the 'Copters pull out of their spin with twists like the girly backup vocals on "Leave It Alone" or the sweet minor chords in "Make It Tonight." Rock & Roll is top-heavy and not the band's best, but if you dig big-hook, torn-jeans rawk, there are few who do it better.

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