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The Hellacopters

Rock & Roll Is Dead (Liquor & Poker)

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On Rock & Roll Is Dead, Sweden's favorite sons-of-bitches come flying out the gate with "Before the Fall," a swell Chuck Berry-cum-MC5 ditty that harks back to the Hellacopters' nitro-burning early daze. But the album quickly settles back into the arena pop of the last two CDs.

That's not necessarily a bad thing. "Everything's on T.V." rewrites a couple of tunes from the last record, but is instantly sticky. Even when the song 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 in "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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