Hellions – Rue
Pushing boundaries, breaking genres, defying structural conventions – Hellions continue right where they left off: in sparklingly, adventurous and purely theatrical fashion
If there were an award for mashing together a cacophony of genres and still making enjoyable, listenable music, Hellions would have bagged it long ago. Hip-hop, musical theatre and pop, all wrapped under the undeniable umbrella of hardcore on their previous albums — particularly 2016’s highly acclaimed Opera Oblivia — certified these Aussie lot as a truly standout group.
Thankfully for us, and the music world, they show no signs of stopping, and on their new record, Rue, may have even one-upped their predecessor. Straight in with the playful, carnival-like 30-second opener (Blueberry), which bleeds into the show-stopping Odyssey, there’s a splendid feeling of grandeur and operatic tones that stay dramatically prevalent throughout the record. This delightful theme of mini intro tracks supporting the album’s more significant songs returns later with the circus-fuelled (Theatre Of) leading into the stomping rhythm of ambitious The Lotus.
When the four-piece aren’t fiercely experimenting with blending theatrics into their rock music, they can really turn up the funk. Single X (Mwah) and the fantastically late-90s sounding Get Up! are as groovy as any pair of flares you’ve ever seen, as they blend bouncy, stonking hip-hop vibes with firesome, popping basslines and chunky, chopping drums.
Frontman Dre Faivre and guitar/co-lyricist Matthew Gravolin are understated wordsmiths, constructing their sesquipedalian lines across every verse, bridge and chorus. Themes of personal duality amid trying to understand the volatile world we live in are prevalent throughout a lyrically explorative album like poetry, but with a bit more oomph.
If this album were a dish, it’d consist of far too many flavours. Yet, as a 12-track collection of songs, this vivid experimentation takes you on a musical adventure through a heavy load of genres and, in truth, is as indulgent as any Michelin star tasting menu.
Listen to: X (Mwah), Odyssey, Get Up!