Album Review: Hellions – Rue

Do you want an album you can put on repeat for an entire day not gt bored of it? Hellions’ Rue is just the one. 

Released this Friday via UNFD, Aussie punks Hellions are back with their newest project in the shape of Rue which guitarist and co-lyricist Matthew Gravolin describes as “the co-existence of a Jekyll and Hyde operating within a person at any one time.” They once again returned to the serenity of Karma Sound Studios in Thailand, and the collaboration of producer Shane Edwards – a man Hellions have worked with for a decade and describe as “our fifth member.”

Rue is a record that takes the genre-blending Opera Oblivia from 2016 and gives it a dark twist. Its riffs and melodies are more beautiful than ever before and it will have you hooked from the go. Opener (Blueberry) sets the scene that you’re about to embark on a bit of a roller-coaster ride – one of the more twisted ones.

Launching straight into the gripping Odyssey, Hellions tackle the examining of the high consciousness we possess has led to a culture of egocentricity and opportunism, it’s big and heavy guitar riffs remind a little bit of Welcome To The Black Parade –era My Chem, and not in a bad way at all (is there even a bad way something can remind of My Chem??). It’s an instant favorite, you don’t even need to listen to the rest of the record to know you’ll put this one on repeat.

X (mwah) is a whole different approach altogether – it’s a lot more early 00’s pop-punk/new metal-esque. It could appear on one of your old mixtapes and you wouldn’t even question it, in fact you’d fall in love with it all over again.

Recent single Smile, came about during the band’s third and final visit to the studio. It’s a driving, upbeat tune built around the refrain ‘I’m ready to run, are you ready?’ that provides a tongue-in-cheek look at the depth of our interactions in the digital age (‘If we can shut the fuck up, maybe we can learn to smile for once’.)

As you take your journey through Rue it’s its little quirks that make it such a gem. Whether it’s Furrow and its ever-changing blend of musical genres while remaining a constantly chill track, or the instrumental break mid-album in the shape of the airy and synth-y (Cocoon). Not to forget the half-minute reminder that you’re still on this twisted roller coaster wonderland ride – (Theatre Of) is wonderfully odd.

Title track Rue is haunting masterpiece with themes including the 2016 Orlando shooting. The song finds vocalist Dre Faivre delivering lyrics that suggest an unflagging sense of hope for the future:

We don’t need height but width to unite / No arms raised but arms strung along / Nothing to fear except for fear itself / We all feel love and pain, and we all bleed the same, don’t we?

Not just lyrically, but it is an all around huge song and worthy of a title track. Anthemic at its core, it will give you goosebumps.

Penultimate track Harsh Light is another one of those chill tracks that once you dive into its lyrics will hit you hard. It’s followed by 26 – an anthem about the ultimate search for happiness, that finishes the record perfectly. “Happiness must always have a voice on a Hellions record,” explains Matt. “People must be informed they’re absolutely not alone in any battle they’re enduring.”