As the only band on the planet who can top festival line-ups across Europe and land themselves on bills supporting bands as soul-crushingly heavy as Slipknot and Behemoth while playing a brand of punk-tinged outlaw-driven rockabilly, Volbeat have built themselves a reputation as a band who deliver their shtick on all fronts. On their seventh album, they’ve stuck to their guns, delivering another fourteen rounds of their chorus-chanting, hook-heavy punk-n-roll rockabilly.
Opener ‘Last Day Under The Sun’ welcomes the return of long-time collaborator and backing vocalist Mia Maja, driving home jangly alt-rock riffs with a teatime festival-ready chorus delivered with precision by frontman Michael Poulsen’s distinguishable vocal. Follow-up ‘Pelvis On Fire’ dials the punk elements up a touch, allowing guitarist Rob Caggiano to bring his Anthrax-laden past to the fore once more. Repeating these one-two punches throughout the album, Volbeat sound like a band sound-tracking their ability to play live, they’re only writing records to give them a reason to keep the tour bus engine running.
Clutch’s Neil Fallon and Slayer’s Gary Holt join proceedings on ‘Die To Live’ and ‘Cheapside Sloggers’ respectively, the former bringing his raspy, bluesy growl to the rockabilly party while the latter fires up a batch of stinging solos. Elsewhere, Mia Maja adds a desperately-needed injection of life to proceedings, particularly on the modern-day power-ballad stylings of ‘Cloud 9’ which becomes dreamlike in her presence.
On an album inspired once more by the life and lyrics of Johnny Cash and conceptually crafted around the ideas of immortality and innocence, and the hollowness of the pursuit for perfection; Volbeat sound as if they’re having the musical time of their lives, and yet it’s not quite enough to separate the songs from sounding like their predecessors, which holds it back somewhat.
‘Rewind, Replay, Rebound’ is Volbeat hitting a fork in the middle-of-the-road; they sound as good as ever their catalogue is blurring into one big rockabilly dance-off rather than a set of standout songs.