On Rock & Roll Is Dead, Sweden's favorite sons of bitches come flying out of the gate with "Before the Fall," a swell Chuck Berry-cum-MC5 ditty that harks back to the Hellacopters' nitro-burning early daze. But the album quickly settles back into the arena pop of the past two CDs. And that's not necessarily a bad thing. "Everything's on T.V." rewrites a couple of tunes from the last record but is instantly sticky. Even when the song starts to blur into Thin Lizzy territory ("Murder on My Mind," "Put Out the Fire"), the 'Copters pull out of their spin with twists like the girly backup vocals in "Leave It Alone" or the sweet minor chords in "Make It Tonight." Rock & Roll is top-heavy and not the band's best, but if you dig big-hook, torn-jeans rawk, there are few who do it better.
Get the Music Newsletter
Keep your thumb on the local music scene with music features, additional online music listings and show picks. We'll also send special ticket offers and music promotions available only to our Music Newsletter subscribers.