Hellions – Rue (Album Review)

Hellions – Rue
Released: October 19th, 2018

Lineup

Anthony ‘Aff’ Caruso // Drums & Vocals
Dre Faivre // Lead Vocals
Matthew Gravolin // Guitar & Vocals
Josh Campiao // Guitar & Backing Vocals

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Sydney’s Hellions are no stranger to a change up in sound despite maintaining some iconic calling cards. Everything they’ve done previously seemed to lead up to their magnum opus Opera Oblivia. So as many bands before them, the band face the question of “How do you follow that up?”, and after two and a half years the four-piece give a middle finger to the question and outdo themselves once more with their latest release Rue.

(Blueberry)‘ leads the listener into the circus tent that is Rue and it’s immediately clear what is in store. Although Opera Oblivia could be loosely placed in the category of concept record, Rue has the label plastered across the album in neon lights. That being said, it doesn’t feel forced at any point. It’s an interesting move for the band and although no one would have guessed this was where their sound was going, it makes a ton of sense. The genius of Rue is its consistency in spite of its sporadic departures; the intentional chaos maintains a sense of cohesiveness that can only be chalked up to the band’s incredible restraint.

 

The lyrical contrast between the grandiose sense of pessimism in tracks such as ‘Furrow‘ and ‘Smile‘ and the anthemic celebration of shared humanity in tracks such as ‘Rue‘ and ‘26‘, dance with each other so smoothly and create a solid depiction of an internal conflict set to the backdrop of a circus, which is a rather interesting commentary on young people in the current societal climate.

Similar to the first time listening to Trophy Eyes‘ new release (The American Dream), tracks like ‘Smile‘ and ‘Furrow‘ are the kind of sound that you can immediately visualise on stage; the gang vocals chants, the overwhelming need to finger point, its all very much there and very much serving as a hype man for when they tour the album. Rue‘s interludes are as visual as a My Chemical Romance record. ‘(Blueberry)‘, ‘Cocoon‘ and ‘(Theatre Of)‘ all gently remind the listener of exactly where the stage is set through the genius implementation of evocative sounds and atmospheric build. That being said the extravagance and flair don’t take away from the fact this is definitely still a Hellions record;  ‘The Lotus‘ and ‘26‘ pick up from Opera Oblivia and the band’s iconic sound is ever present not only here but interwoven through the entire work.

 

Overall Rue is honestly a work of art. Upon first listen I promise you’ll be shocked and entranced by the technical and theatrical perfection that Hellions boast in this unexpected celebration of shared humanity. This album needs to be up there with the most iconic concept records of the last decade and I truly hope it gains the recognition it deserves. Regardless I don’t doubt that Rue will be enjoyed by both an Australian and International audience.

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HellionsRue tracklisting

1. (Blueberry)
2. Odyssey
3. X (Mwah)
4. Smile
5. Furrow
6. Cocoon
7. Rue
8. (Theatre Of)
9. The Lotus
10. Get Up!
11. Harsh Light
12. 26

Rating: 9.5/10
Rue is out Friday October 19th via UNFD. Pre-order here
Review Bree Vane @Briebrebree

Revisit Hellions drummer Anthony ‘Aff’ Caruso co-hosting Wall of Sound: Up Against The Wall right here

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  1. Hellions – Gig Review 20th October @ Crowbar, Brisbane QLD – Wall Of Sound

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