Highway Pirates

01. Highway Pirates
02. Back On The Road
03. Stay Wild
04. Blood Run Hot
05. Fire And Dynamite
06. Down And Out
07. Knuckleduster
08. Heavy Metal Dynamite
09. Citylights
10. Into The Night

Hell Hofer - Vocals
Hampus Klang - Lead Guitars
Erik Almström - Lead Guitars
Gustav Hjortsjö - Drums
Adam Hector - Bass

Heading For The Top (2006)
Bite the Bullet (2008)

Biff Byford (whistle)
Per Svensson (backing vocals)

Recorded by David Persson Hansen and Carl Johan Erlandsson at Racetrack Studios
Mixed by Tobbe Lindell
Mastered by Henke Jonsson

Released 4/2-2011
Reviewed 15/2-2011

black lodge

In 1975 an album called High Voltage saw the light of day. It was the debut album of the very known Australian band AC/DC. It was also something that started an amazing musical career that is still progressing or shall we say repeating itself since I would say that AC/DC is rather repeating themselves than actually progressing towards another kind of music. I would also state that AC/DC along with some other well-known rock bands are the symptom of what is wrong with the musical business when all the big non-changing dragons remain in power while all those newer and more interesting, clever bands will remain in obscurity, which in my mind is a pity but that is how it is and all the glory to AC/DC for being successful.

But why am I bringing up AC/DC you might wonder now. It is not as far fetched as you might think. This band I am writing this review about now, Bullet actually has AC/DC as their housegods and they do whatever they can in order to sound exactly like them. This means that they play blues based heavy rock with simple song structures with lots of attention to the choruses and with a singer that sound more like a crow eaten by a raven rather than a real singer. The band actually do sound quite a lot like AC/DC, no doubt about that.
As a no-fan of AC/DC I have a hard time understanding why anyone would like to sound like these australians but then again, each to his own and it would really be quite wrong to judge. Still, I thank that bands that emulate others rather than finding their own identity is a bit off my mark and they also tend to be a bit worse than the original bands as well.

Bite the Bullet did not impress me at all really so I had no real expectations for this new album called Highway Pirates so it had little or no room to disappoint me at least. And sure enough I can clearly say that Highway Pirates is an improvement from what they had before, it is better in all respects really, the music is a little bit less a copy of AC/DC even if it still is, they seem to be progressing slightly towards their own identity but it is still too little for it to really grab my attention, it still sound too much of old australian and too little of swedish enthusiasm.

But besides the lack of a real own identity and a desire to sit in an outback pub and drink Fosters, the main letdown for this band is still the vocals, the vocalist is quite bad to be honest but also the style of the vocals are really dull and boring and ruins whatever seed of good music that has been sawn before the vocals begin. For sure it is not as bad as it was on Bite the Bullet but that does not mean that it is good in any way. Another thing that bothers me besides the vocals is the copy thing, the feeling that it has all been done by someone else before and that it has been done better at those times by those bands, the feeling that they are just another copy and just another one of those pointless bands is very hard to shake and even if the band is better now than it was, and has more of their own identity, they are still seemingly just trying to be australian.
Still, this time I managed to find a song that I found to be quite good, not fantastic but a good song nonetheless and in this one I can actually even accept the vocals despite them being really rubbish. This good song is the second to last song which is called Citylights and it is a song that I almost like despite that fact that it is ruined somewhat by the very crappy vocals that this band is still having.

Highway Pirates does not really make a highway journey any better and it does not really make me much happier than I was before, rather less happy, but still it is a definite improvement over Bite the Bullet which of course is not much but it might be a step in the right direction.

For me Highway Pirates has a too much of an AC/DC sound to it and it would have been alright if it wasn’t for the vocals which are also too much AC/DC and those I cannot stand. The fact is that this band feel a bit too much of a copy, too much of someones who does not really understand the benefit of standing on their own feet, they do what they do quite well but what they do is not interesting in the least and I find Bullet to be a really boring band with a shitty vocalist.

Highway Pirates is an improvement but I still believe that it can only appeal to fans of said australians. So if you are AC/DC fan, good for you ‘cause this is good but if you are fan of other music it would be wise to look elsewhere for good music.


Label - Black Lodge/Sound Pollution
Tre liknande band - AC/DC / Accept / Judas Priest
Recensent: Daniel Källmalm