Hotter than dry ice and colder than the vodka in the freezer, Helldorado is one of the more rambunctious live bands lightening up this hemisphere. By the way, they’re big at home in Norway and – get this – even bigger in Turkey. Where their cut «A Drinking Song», in Turkish no less, rose to become the hymn of the national football team. (Erdogan hasn’t sued them yet.)
Prepare to be hit by Thor’s hammer, these guys are loud. Searing guitars loud. Concussive bass loud. Detonating drums loud. Singer and guitarist Dag Vagle, guitarist Bard Halsne, bass Hans Wassvik and drummer Morten Jackman are at heart Americana alt-country rockers. But there have been wild raids into cow punk, goth, psychobilly, garage rock and, si, into mariachi Tex-Mex territory. Evoking sceneries where thirsty souls with leathery tongues burnt by the sun suffer, blinded by the burning light where there’s no God but plenty of sin, the law of the land is the faster draw, where sweat pearls not because of the heat but fear, where the shade of the cactus is far away and the vultures are cruising.
«Bones In The Closet» from 2014 speaks volumes (their volumes!) Helldorado relentlessly covers an electrifying medley of songs by Johnny Cash, Tom Waits, Bob Dylan, Nick Cave and Lee Hazlewood and Ennio Morricone isn’t safe either. «The dark is rising and the day keeps falling / Our fire is burning and the wind keeps calling / So fill your glasses and prepare to fight / Let’s all drink up and ride tonight / - - - / No more, no never again / no never again!»
Of course not.