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The Hellacopters | Cream of the Crap Collected Non Album Works 2 | review | rock | Lollipop

The Hellacopters

Cream of the Crap! Collected Non-Album Works Volume 2 (Liquor and Poker)
by Brian Varney

As is probably apparent from the title, this is the sort of release aimed mainly at hardcore fans and completists. Never what you'd call an unproductive band, the rock and roll warriors that comprise The Hellacopters have managed, over a decade of existence, to release not only five full-length albums, but also a handful of EPs and a veritable shitload of singles and appearances on compilations. For the rabid fans for whom the albums are not enough, the Cream of the Crap releases (this is the second, but there will be more, trust me) conveniently collect tracks from these non-LP releases into handy digital format. Of course, said fans probably own all of these singles and compilations anyway, but for those folks, it's another new item to purchase, so everybody ends up happy.

If you're a Hellacopters newbie, Volume 2 is probably not the best place to start. Fine moments abound, but this collection mixes tracks from throughout the band's career, which means you may be in for a disorienting experience. You get a raw, in-the-red fuzz-riddled Tomas Skogsberg-produced recording from 1996 residing alongside a sleek, 2003-but-classic-rock-all-the-way recording, which makes it play more like a mix tape than the work of a single artist.

Another point worth mentioning is that Volume 2 contains a disproportionate number of covers, which have always been the band's Achilles heel. For a band so good at incorporating the life essence of the best classic rock into original songs, The Hellacopters do a surprisingly subpar job when covering another artist's songs, often remaining too reverent of the original, the final results yielding too little of the band's own identity and, at the same time, too faint a shimmer of the original's life force.

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