Review: Volbeat – ‘Rewind, Replay, Rebound’

Opening track on an album is usually reserved for one of the faster tracks on said album. Or a slow-building, break-you-in-gentle moment. Very few Metal bands, however, will take door number three, the door marked – “lightest song on the album”. Enter Volbeat with opening track ‘Last Day Under The Sun’, and cue the sound of jaws hitting the floor as die-hard Volbeat fans everywhere are faced with something a little on the lighter side.

When it came to arranging the running order, I’d bet my left nut that Volbeat knew exactly what they were doing by placing ‘Last Day Under The Sun’ in pole position. An infectious (late) Summer anthem in the making (although no mainstream media outlets would dream of playing it), you could look at it two ways. One, it’s a statement from Volbeat that they will play whatever they want, not what’s expected of them, and two, it’s just a bloody song. A bright, cheerful five minutes, complete with the amazing Mia Maja on backing vocals, that succeeds in burrowing its way into your psyche. So how do Volbeat follow that up? By breaking into full-on Elvis Metal mode on ‘Pelvis On Fire’ that’s how. The ‘Peter Gunn’ inspired riff during the intro is killer, the change in pace after the count-in is thrilling, and the Elvis-isms are, simply put, good fun. It’s a pelvis-shaking few minutes that allows the band to lock into a groove, and for the “quieter” band members, drummer Jon Larsen and bassist Kaspar Boye Larsen, to shine.

The same light-heavy pattern continues on the pair of tracks that follow on from ‘Pelvis On Fire’. ‘Rewind The Exit’ begins by tricking the listener into thinking that it’s going to go down the heavy route, before it develops into an ‘80’s inspired, highly polished slice of commercial rock. This is quickly followed by the roadhouse rocker ‘Die To Live’ which features a guest appearance from Clutch’s Neil Fallon. On the subject of roadhouse rock ‘n’ roll, taking a timeout from JD McPherson’s incredible band, and bringing an authentic taste of boogie-woogie with them, are Raynier Jacob Jacildo on piano, and Doug Corocran on saxophone. When Fallon appears, with his customary gruff delivery, the track takes on extra wings and the end result is like a metalized Million Dollar Quartet, obviously minus two of the quartet though.

Other guest appearances to note, apart from the aforementioned Mia Maja, would be the return of The Harlem Gospel Choir, and none other than Gary Holt who lends his impressive, and foreboding, guitar riffs to ‘Cheapside Sloggers’. Sloggers is brilliant fun, it’s hard not to get swept up in the glam-like drum groove, and Holt does indeed steal the show. Even without Holt, there are riffs to be found on ‘Rewind, Replay, Rebound’. The surf guitar licks on ‘Sorry Sack Of Bones’ herald in a more modern sounding Volbeat (as does closing track ‘7:24’), while ‘The Everlasting’ recalls the riffs that launched a million Johnny Cash-meets-Metallica comparisons.

‘Rewind, Replay, Rebound’ is an album that will no doubt piss off a lot of the Volbeat faithful, but also bring the band scores of new fans. It’s a Rock album, and if you take it at face value then there is plenty to enjoy, but if you’re looking for the double bass-drum work of tracks like ‘Still Counting’, then you will need to keep looking. Volbeat have broadened their horizons, which shouldn’t really come as that much of a surprise, hello..’Light A Way’ anyone?

Available now, more information here.

Review – Dave

European headline tour with support from Baroness & Danko Jones

September 23 /// Newcastle, UK /// O2 Academy
September 24 /// Glasgow, UK /// O2 Academy
September 26 /// London, UK /// O2 Academy Brixton
September 28 /// Bristol, UK /// O2 Academy
September 30 /// Birmingham, UK /// O2 Academy
October 1 /// Manchester, UK /// O2 Apollo
October 3 /// Belfast, UK /// Ulster Hall
October 4 /// Dublin, IE /// Olympia Theatre
October 6 /// Paris, FR /// L’Olympia
October 7 /// Luxembourg, LU /// Rockhal
October 9 /// Madrid, ES /// La Riviera
October 10 /// Lisbon, PT /// Coliseum
October 12 /// Barcelona, ES /// Razzmatazz
October 14 /// Milan, IT /// Fabrique
October 29 /// Warsaw, PL /// Torwar Arena
October 31 /// Prague, CZ /// O2 Universum
November 1 /// Berlin, DE /// Mercedes-Benz Arena
November 3 /// Stuttgart, DE /// Schleyerhalle
November 5 /// Zurich, CH /// Hallenstadion
November 7 /// Frankfurt, DE /// Festhalle
November 8 /// Munich, DE /// Olympiahalle
November 10 /// Leipzig, DE /// Arena Leipzig
November 11 /// Hamburg, DE /// Barclaycard Arena
November 14 /// Cologne, DE /// Lanxess Arena
November 17 /// Vienna, AT /// Stadhalle
November 19 /// Amsterdam, NL /// Ziggo Dome
November 21 /// Antwerp, BE /// Lotto Arena
November 27 /// Helsinki, FI /// Hartwall Arena
November 29 /// Stockholm, SE /// Tele2 Arena

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