The Hellacopters kickstarted a garage rock tsunami in Sweden in the early nineties, a tsunami whose shock waves can still be heard today in the literally hundreds of Hellacopteresque releases we’ve received for review here at Sentinel Daily in the six and a bit years of this organ’s existence. Nicke Andersson (and, crucially for this writer, his co-conspiritor and band co-founder Dregen) is back in 2022 with a new lineup and the band’s first full-length outing in more or less a decade and a half. The original and still the best?

Of course. Whilst Eyes Of Oblivion offers nothing new to the Hellacopter blueprint, it underlines, time and again on rollicking rockers like the title track and the Cheap Trickery of standout cut Beguiled, just how far ahead of the pack The Hellacopters remain, even after a big kip. Andersson himself is front and centre, churning out the good stuff with a wink and a grin, confidence surely reinforced by Dregen’s impish presence at his side. The two share an ear for memory-snagging choruses and a knack for making even the most hackneyed pub rock sound fresh and invigorating. In anyone else’s hands, for instance, the lumpen blues of So Sorry I Could Die might incur feverish track skipping; here, it becomes a booze-soaked tour de force. Go figure.

Elsewhere opener Reap A Hurricane opens with some ominous, feedback-soaked chords before delivering a high octane kick in the guts that sets the tone for the rest of the album; as noted, there’s nothing new to be heard here but equally the band aren’t mucking about either, delivering their signature sound with a lot of fire in the belly and froth on the lips. Demonstrably this is the real deal, and it’s good to have it back and burning…

Great stuff then, and an album sure to find a loving home wherever music of high quality and low morals is encouraged. Let the oblivion commence!

Eyes of Oblivion releases on April 1st.