One overlooked aspect of the Great Garage Rock Revival of 2002 had more to do with geography than any kind of "who can ape the Stooges most closely" contest. Specifically, what the hell was it with all these bands from Sweden? Led by the nattily dressed Hives, this Viking invasion of Bjorn-again rock also included Sahara Hotnights, Division of Laura Lee and the Soundtrack of Our Lives. Ultimately, the hype outweighed the musical impact of these bands, but the Hellacopters are still ready to launch their machine in America. Formed in 1994, the band now consists of Nicke Andersson (guitar and vocals), Kenny Hakansson (bass) and Robert Eriksson (drums), along with Anders Lindstrom (keys) and Robert Dahlqvist (lead guitar). Their sixth full-length release, Rock & Roll Is Dead, is short on the grand pronouncements about the state of musical union the title might imply but heavy on short, dirty, shred-worthy tracks more akin to KISS, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy than the Electric Prunes or Iggy. Topics include couch potatoes ("Everything's on T.V."), rock celebrity ("I'm with the Band") and, uh, hot sex and partying. Glad to see that some things translate into any culture Ė never mind the subfreezing temperatures.
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