Rewind to the 25th April 2013 and I was at a gig. This isn’t a shock I suppose, but that night Crashdiet headlined one of Birmingham’s Academy venues, and brought about five other bands with them.
On the blog that was the one I did before MV took my life over, I wrote of one of them: “[they are] heavily influenced by the nothin’ but a good time attitude of the 80s, their song titles give the game away, amongst others there are “Another Saturday Night” and “Raise Your Drinking Glass” and they sound exactly as you would expect. Never going to change the world, but good fun all the same.”
That band was Hell In The Club. They were making their first appearances in the UK at that point. Now, as if to prove that time marches on and all that stuff, they are celebrating 10 years of their debut record.
So it is that “Kamikaze – 10 Years in the Slums” is a bit of a hotchpotch collection of things, a couple of new songs, a couple of covers, and a re-recording of one of the songs they probably played that night in the second city.
The first of the new ones, “Kamikaze”, to be fair, is an absolute banger of a thing. Everything you’d want from a modern glam rock song. There’s no point, after all, in re-heating Poison’s riffs of 1986. Rather, HITC circa 2022 are a little bit pompous, a little bit overblown, and walking the line somewhere between H.E.A.T and a power metal band. I hope singer Dave (like Cher these boys see no requirement for surnames – probably so the police find it harder to trace them?) wears spandex trousers. He really should.
“10 Years In The Slums” is equally good, plus there’s a whiff of a band that would take you out the back for a bit of a kicking if you saw them in a dark alley. “ten years in the slums, and not a day in paradise” opines Dave here, but you sense he regrets nothing, and would be happy to show you the battle scars.
The covers, well, the first one came out last Halloween and we had it on the site. “He’s Back (The Man Behind The Mask)” has the air of a Bon Jovi song. It sounds massive, and it doesn’t copy Alice Cooper (after all, how do you compete with greatness).
The other, well remember that at the start when I said “fun all the same?” it was probably made for “Chainsaw Charlie (Murders In The New Morgue)”. Of course it rules. Blackie Lawless wrote the thing. “The Crimson Idol” is perhaps W.A.S.P’s best album and that’s the best thing on it. So you need balls of steel to do it. The Hell In The Club, lads? They’ve nailed it. And they’re allowed in the platinum army.
The last one, “In Your Eyes” was never on the official debut record – appearing instead as a bonus track on the Japanese version and its interesting to hear them do it now. Back 10 years ago it was almost demure, reticent perhaps. Not anymore. Bombast mate? Roll up for it. It suits them.
So was I harsh on the band nine years ago? Yes and no. Hell In The Club are very, very good at what they do – just like they were back then too – but now it is without question they are in a different league and are a much better proposition.
Maybe in the next decade they can escape the slums and get to the dizzy heights of the suburbs?