HELL IN THE CLUB
HELL OF FAME
Released on September 4, 2020 (Frontiers Music Srl)
Hell in the Club are a mainstay around these Sleaze Roxx parts. With the exception of See You On The Dark Side, Hell In The Club‘s previous three albums have landed on the Sleaze Roxx year end readers’ list in 2011, 2014, and 2016. This Italian band has been nothing but consistent over its 12 plus year history.
I’ve been a follower of Hell In The Club since Let The Games Begin in 2011, and reviewed their last previously released 2017 effort, See You On The Dark Side. For those who don’t know Hell In The Club already, the Sleaze Roxx review of their first album stated, “Hell In The Club start off 2011 with a very enjoyable slab of modern arena-rock. If Let The Games Begin doesn’t appear on my Top 10 list at the end of the year, it would certainly be due to strong competition… because this debut CD is pretty much flawless.” Meanwhile, the band’s 2017 effort was described as, “Hell In The Club have impressed me from their first release in 2011. It would be naive to think that most bands don’t evolve, change with the winds, or discover new influences… for better or worse. If you appreciate that, and thought Shadow Of A Monster was good, See You On The Dark Side will exceed your expectations.”
So on to the new album, Hell of Fame. Alright, another cool album title for them, first tick in their favour. There’s a very incongruent sound to the first track, “We’ll Never Leave The Castle.” It’s somehow “in the now” while still capturing a lighter hair metal sound of the ’80s like Danger Danger. It is very much part of the band’s sound, to a certain extent. Later in the album, this sound is thoroughly abandoned for something heavier. But for now, “Worst Case Scenario” seems like an attempt to transition the two sounds, and I’m not invested. I like some of the heavy guitar riffs, but the song just doesn’t work for me. The contrast between gang and harmonic vocals is a turn off, but the guitar solo is exceptional.
There’s a significant shift into “Here Today, Gone Tomorrow.” This is some good sleaze for me to chew on. The opening and verse is killer. I can ignore the soft chorus because it’s short. There’s a bit of a lift to “Joker” that is heavy, but not ugly… like how Whitesnake do things. Not at the same David Coverdale level mind you, but there is quality to be found in this song. I’m feeling less interest in “Last of An Undying Kind”, as it just kind of fills a hole and plods along.
Hell In The Club have never shied away from using unique sounds in their songs, such as using big band swing in “Peter Parker” from their last album. Go to the 1:50 mark on this video to see what I mean. Therefore, it’s not a huge surprise that “Nostalgia” begins with digital ’80s new wave drums and keys. The song actually turns into an AOR banger. Now, I’m on record as not being a fan of ballads. However, “Lullaby For An Angel” is actually a pretty song. The band treats it well, with gentle guitars, great vocals, and a soft drum mix. The delivery reminds me of L.A. Guns’ “The Ballad of Jayne.”
“Mr. Grouch” is a smack back to reality. Something akin to Skid Row, a combination of gutter rock and punk, and singer Dave does a great job channeling an Axl Rose / Sebastian Bach hybrid. A cool bass line leads in to “No Room In Hell” which is a bluesy stomp similar to vintage Lynch Mob. There are interesting elements to the final two tracks. “Tokyo Lights” has another ’80s meets today pop metal feel, whereas “Lucifer’s Magic” is a darker, European AOR song, with heavy guitars and a singable vocal.
Hell In The Club have always been “quirky” with their song selections and reflecting their influences. Big props to Frontiers Music for continuing to support this band. While I don’t always love their sounds, I do always appreciate where they are coming from. As a whole, Hell of Fame is a very good album, from veterans of the sleaze scene for the last 12+ years, that deserves to be recognized. There isn’t a particular track that bowls me over, but the album in totality is a good addition to the Hell In The Club discography.
01. We’ll Never Leave The Castle
02. Worst Case Scenario
03. Here Today, Gone Tomorrow
05. Last of An Undying Kind
07. Lullaby For An Angel
08. Mr. Grouch
09. No Room In Hell
10. Tokyo Lights
11. Lucifer’s Magic
Dave – vocals
Andy – bass
Picco – guitars
Mark – drums
Reviewed by Metal Mike for Sleaze Roxx, September 2020
Hell In The Club‘s “Never Leave The Castle” video:
Subscribe To Our Channel: http://radi.al/SubscribeFrontiers | From the album HELL OF FAME. Buy or Stream: https://orcd.co/helloffame Director: Andrea Falasch…
Hell In The Club’s “Worst Case Scenario” lyric video:
Subscribe To Our Channel: http://radi.al/SubscribeFrontiers | From the album HELL OF FAME. Buy or Stream: https://orcd.co/helloffame Video by: Tiziano Spigno…
Hell In The Club‘s “Nostalgia” video:
Subscribe To Our Channel: http://radi.al/SubscribeFrontiers | From the album HELL OF FAME. Buy or Stream: https://orcd.co/helloffame | “This song is dedicate…