Eerily similar to the album cover art, the opening track on the newest offering by Eve Hell & the Razors begins with a solitary guitar and bass played in a seemingly haunted room in and long forgotten house on a hill. The stranded couple straining the eyes past the length of the flashlight beam to see into the abyss, pressing back against their prying eyes begins the familiar tones of Eve Hell. With a cool damp evening breeze, the air heavy with suspense and a mix of calculated musical trauma Eve Hell, Mike Hell and Lorne Peterson return as your musical crypt keepers to zombify your lobes and tour you through the latest fresh graves.
Eve Hell returns in this return Sci - Fi / Horror mix to dazzle and amaze as the fiery haired, drawn, weighty, breathless vixen lyricist, her trusty sparkle king bass held tight against her clutching it as she explores the darkness of the album with her co - pilot Mike Hell. Mike's custom Black Falcon guitar sings it's deep twang style, Hell pulling deeply from his resevoir of technique and ability - from Fire It Up; he has progressed nicely and it shows. Lorne Peterson returns on skins as the reliable standby - his pulse accurate playing keeps your feet tapping from the opening track "When the Lights Go Out".
This album is much more targeted and a refined tone for the EHTR crew, it is apparent right from the opening track that this album has the power of a strong loyal fan base behind it. Like true career musicians the Hell clan have invested "road monies" in this album when it comes to recording, mixing, packaging and artwork. They understand their fans crave what they are cooking and the Hell's aim to deliver with the full meal deal. Mixed in Nashville, TN by Geoff Firebaugh of Hobolight Studios; Firebaugh is also the renowned bass player for the wildly infamous Hillbilly Casino. The time and financial investment on this album have served EHTR very well; the 2012 - 2013 season have propelled them on their first European tour after being signed to Canadiana recording label Transistor 66 out of Winnipeg.
With a fair mix of original tracks and some cover tracks on this disc EHTR have found a winning formula, from the all time classic of Johnny Cash's "Big River", to Willie Dixon's "My Babe" and finally AC/DC's "Rocker". The EHTR trio slam into the opening chords of Big River with the kinda of ferocious familiarity that would bring a wary grin to the Man In Black himself. Mike Hell is spot on in his tone and delivery on this the fourth track of When The Lights Go Out, it's hard to distinguish who's leading who - Eve or Mike; the truth is this pair are one in the same and together they make the transition between bass and guitar seamless.
One original track that is the defining moment on this album is Track 06 - "Lipstick on My Microphone"; in this infectious groove Eve lays it straight out how her playing is not without a little bit of pain whether it's cosmetic or physical. When watching EHTR play live, pay close attention to Eve raking her fingers over her strings. . .look even more closely and you will see her actual blood streaked across the bridge beneath the strings. There is one word for this - "COMMITMENT", Eve Hell is not worried about chipping a nail or getting a blister when she plays; she's hoping for both!
Eve calls out in Track 08 to all the wallflowers at each gig, "I Wanna Dance" is a catchy head boppin' tune that conjures up images of Betty Paige, Pencil Skirts and a little shimmy and shake. You can't deny fishnet stockings and a pencil skirt, when you hear this song you'll know you have but one option and that's to find the prettiest lady and offer up your best dance moves and bring it on home.
Perhaps the most memorable song on the entire album is the "Dashboard Love Song", this medley is a soft warm zombie love song classic complete with swaying hula hips and fuzzy dice. Oddly enough watching Mike and Eve during this song is like watching two best friends playing music simply for the sake of the music, this song is what I believe exemplifies the connection between all the members of the band. With connections like these the bonds are not easily fractured or torn asunder.
Mike, Eve and Lorne have met the bar once again with this highly contagious disc and further embedding their roots rockabilly twang in the Calgary music scene. EHTR are well on their way to a long and wide spanning success among those fans in Canada and South of the border. Look for Eve Hell "When The Lights Go Out" on itunes today and pick up some honest genuine zombie rockabilly twang and support your local artists.