METEORS - Hell Train Rollin’

Meteors - Hell Train Rollin’

13 songs
47:30 minutes
***** ***
People Like You


The Meteors who have been founded already back in 1980 and seemingly impossible to be brought down are back with their twenty-fourth official album Hell Train Rollin’. Even the recent solo CD by their only remaining founding member Paul P. Fenech couldn’t curb the Úlan by the undisputed kings of psychobilly.

Nevertheless the opener Never Stop The Hate Train starts instantly in a surprising way. Although Mr Fenech still sports an ultra-raw voice that sounds as if he swallows his beers with the glass, the song has a lot in common with Sixties surf rock. Later on there is a similar track with Surfin’ Home On A Dead Girl. Despite all of this, the Meteors will not alienate their long time fans with their new record. Even if Hell Train Rollin’ has definitely not become a pure psychobilly album, it is still strongly inspired by the early Sixties, with the mandatory double bass getting a prominent role. The CD seems a little livelier than their previous works, as the band is open for other influences without betraying their identity. Maybe it’s their advanced age, but the album contains a bigger share of quieter tracks, some of them with harmonica which make for a Western flair, creating in your mind’s eye the image of the lonesome cowboy riding into the sunset.

The melodies are mostly kept quite simple and even a little hypnotic with a tendency to hook themselves in your brain. Cover versions are rather the exception with the Meteors, although this time they deliver a successful rendition of John Fogerty’s The Old Man Down The Road. Finally the Meteors prove with the ripping Psychobilly Number 1 (followed by a bonus track jam) that they are still in perfect shape and need to be reckoned with in the future.

Hell Train Rollin’ feels better as their two previous records Hymns For The Hellbound and These Evil Things. It would be nonsense to claim the Meteors became more mature, but it’s nice to hear that they are still open for new influences, which makes for a more open-minded overall impression. Add to this Paul Fenech’s voice which is still the coolest in the entire rock’n’roll circus.

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