Hokay, so…VOLBEAT has a new album out in Rewind, Replay, Rebound on Republic Records, and it is very interesting to say the least. Y’all know how much I love this band, let’s get that right out in the open. They have been part of some of my greatest memorable nights with my friends since 2011, and the list of killer tunes from these guys is seemingly endless when you look at their overall body of work. That said, you know I am always gonna be 100% honest with you guys, right? Well then, get ready ‘cuz this record is a bit odd, and a head scratcher in several places.
First of all, as much as I love the hook and overall vibe of “Last Day Under the Sun”, there is nothing anyone can say to justify this being the album opener. Come on, this is a song you make track five or six. Moving on from that we have “Pelvis On Fire” which channels the Heavy Metal Rockabilly vibe these guys do so well. “Rewind the Exit” hearkens back to the 90’s and actually reminds me of something CONCRETE BLONDE would put out back then. Guest vocalist Mia Maja makes the harmonies so rich I’m ready to go dig for iron ore! “Die to Live” is fucking awesome, in case you were wondering, especially when you add CLUTCH’S Neil Fallon to the mix.
Poulsen gives us one of his finest vocal deliveries on “When We Were Kids,” but overall the tune is just okay, not great.”Sorry Sack of Bones” is arguably the most unique I’ve heard from these guys, which is by no means a bad thing. Also “Cheapside Sluggers” is a rollickin’ good time featuring a killer solo by guitarist extraordinaire Gary Holt (EXODUS/SLAYER). Come on, were you expecting anything less? “Leviathan” is without a doubt the record’s best track, and should have been the opener as far as I’m concerned. Poulsen’s vocals combined with the guitar interplay between him and Rob Caggiano remind us once again that VOLBEAT are very good at what they do,
“Maybe I Believe” is an absolute generic track that quite frankly would be insulting were it any other band, and I have NO clue what the fuck is going on with microsong “Parasite.” ‘Da fuq? Was this even necessary? But don’t worry, redemption comes in the form of “The Awakening of Bonnie Parker”, which once again showcases Mia Maja’s background vocals and a killer guitar solo. It reminds those of us who are old enough to remember going to drive-in movie theaters what it was like to actually date someone! “The Everlasting” is a pretty heavy song, but still manages to be catchy, so that’s that.
Closing the album is “7:24” which is a fantastic view of fatherhood, and one that made me tear up. Look, when all’s said and done VOLBEAT are a great band who for the most part write great songs. This record though isn’t one of their elite best. I dunno, maybe I was expecting a better flow of tunes. Especially since 2016’s Seal the Deal & Let’s Boogie was an excellent return to form. Either way Rewind, Replay, Rebound is out now, so go get yours and see what you think!
STANDOUT TRACKS: “The Awakening of Bonnie Parker”, “Leviathan”, “Die to Live”, “7:24”, “Last Day Under the Sun”, “Rewind the Exit”