Released: 2016, Metal Blade Records
Reviewer: Peter Atkinson
On-again, off-again Swedish rawk and rollers Gehennah re-emerged a year ago with the extended EP Metal Police – a half-dozen new tracks and some re-recorded oldies – signaling that they were indeed on yet again. With the release of their new fourth album – and first full-length in nearly 20 years – apparently they intend to stay that way for a while.
Good thing too, because we could use a balls-out, warts-and-all, could-give-a-fuck band like Gehennah to fill the void left by the recent death of Motorhead mainman Lemmy. True to its title, Too Loud To Live … Too Drunk To Die is a rude and crude mix of metal, punk and rock that delivers plenty of attitude and very little decorum – all of which would make Mr. Kilmister rather proud.
“Never was a classy act” frontman Mr. Violence admits on the delightfully forthright “Scumbag,” which could easily be Gehennah's signature song. And when he bellows “When All Else Fails – Destroy!” later on, you can bet the band take it to heart.
Drinking, fighting, fucking and “street metal” are the name of the game here, with ditties like “We Stole Your Song,” “Let's Fall Off The Wagon,” “Low On Cash, High On Speed,” and “All of the Decadence, None of the Success.” And Gehennah serve it all up with a fittingly “raw, dirty and obscene” flair – to borrow from “Life Metal Must Die” - that channels The MC5, Venom, The Hellacopters and, of course, Motorhead.
Rob Stringburner riffs are hewn rough and Charley Knuckleduster's bass licks sound like a belt-sander as they grind away over Hellcop's ass-kick tempos. Mr. Violence's whiskey-and-cigarette scarred vocals top it all off with fitting gruffness.
Yet as ragged and unkempt as it is, Too Loud To Live is as infectious as an STD. And it will be about as tough to get rid of once it burrows its way into your ear holes.