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HELL'S ADDICTION V1.0

By Jay Roberts, Massachusetts Contributor
Tuesday, July 9, 2019 @ 5:41 PM


- advertisement -
HELL'S ADDICTIO
V1.0

Self-Released - 2019
http://www.hellsaddiction.com




If you are like me and have somehow managed to miss out on the band HELL'S ADDICTION, despite the band's formation nearly a decade ago, you might be forgiven for thinking with a name like theirs, you'd be in for some kind of dark, satanic type death metal.

But thankfully, that impression based off the name alone couldn't be further from the truth. Instead, what you get is a balls-out straight ahead rock and roll band that actually manages to live up to their promotional hype as a kind of cross between SKID ROW, early GUNS N' ROSES and AC/DC.

Having released two full-length albums in 2013 and 2016 (the critically acclaimed Broken), HELL'S ADDICTION has returned with their V1.0 EP, a four song EP that shows just how much rock n' roll fire and brimstone they can conjure up. The band consists of singer Ben Sargent with his brother Liam Sargent and Dan Weir on guitar, bassist Jason Green and drummer Luke Morley. And despite my previous lack of experience with the band's music, I found myself damn impressed with what this EP had to offer me as a listener.

Kicking things off with "Free Your Mind", the band fuels the track with a rocking/metallic crunch from start to finish. Ben Sargent has the requisite power in his vocals but there's a gritty and raspy inflection to his singing that gives each lyrical line a little extra heft. The thumping musical soundtrack shows off each member's individual talents while blending them all together for a cohesive whole.

The band is quoted as saying "Masking The Pain" is their favorite of the four songs on the EP. I'm not sure I'm quite as sold on the song myself though. Now don't get me wrong, it actually is a pretty damn good track. However, the thrilling musical ride is at times overshadowed by the vocal performance. By that I mean there are a couple of points in the song where Sargent's vocal howl is completely oversold and it detracts a bit from the overall effect the band seems to be going for with the material. It's only a wee little bit of a thing but it did stand out in my mind as I was listening to the song.

Now, whether it is a band that was actually around in the 80's and early 90's or a band that just has that same kind of melodic-driven musical style now, you have to expect that there's going to be a ballad on any release an act puts out. And such is the case with HELL'S ADDICTION. The song "If Time Stood Still" is apparently the band's first full on ballad and since the band's ethos is that a track has to work on stage before they'll record it in the studio, you know they feel confident in this song. Much to my surprise (notorious ballad hater that I am), I really quite enjoyed the song. Full of great melody, killer guitar lines and a strong sense of vocal restraint, this is a song I would not only love to hear in concert, but I'd even hold up a lighter (or a cell phone light these days) while the band played it.

The closing number is called "Running Away" and the intro is where their AC/DC influence seems to really shine through the most. Blasting out of the speakers with nothing in the way of extraneous frills, the guitar riffs come fast and furious, blazing a path that sees a vocal take that alternates between a full-throated roar and a slightly more melodic styling as well.

The band is being categorized as one of the New Wave of Classic Rock representatives, but regardless of how you may classify them, they are just a flat out great sounding rock band. While I'm obviously more than a bit late to the party, if the band's V1.0 EP is any indication of where there songwriting is at this current time, I am now breathlessly awaiting what HELL'S ADDICTION might have to offer with another full-length release.

4.5 Out Of 5.0


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