Album Review: Refuse, Resist, Renew, Recycle, Rewind, Replay, Rebound with Volbeat

  • Jeff Treppel

In my Sabaton review a few weeks ago, I mentioned that Volbeat are a band whose appeal eludes me. Listening to the Danish act’s seventh full-length, Rewind, Replay, Rebound, I get it. It’s a big, hooky radio rock record that acknowledges that music existed prior to Nirvana. Some of the genre-mixing they come up with feels positively inspired. Of course, based on these songs, if you didn’t know about their earlier Metallica-influenced albums, you’d be wondering why they’re getting coverage on a metal website at all. Still, there’s enough heaviness in their background to grandfather them in.

This collection of tunes leans particularly hard on the arena-aspiring side of their sound. Last album Seal The Deal & Let’s Boogie made big moves in that direction. This one arrives just in time for them to fill stadiums as direct support to Slipknot. That’s not to say that that specific tour was a consideration, but these songs are clearly meant to be heard way out in the cheap seats. At times, it feels like listening to classic rock radio.

First track “Last Day Under the Sun” brings together INXS and The Darkness into an uplifting anthem that’s less hedonistic than a melding of those two bands would imply. “Pelvis on Fire” conjectures what would’ve happened if Elvis had survived long enough to make a psychobilly comeback record. “Die To Live” pulls in Clutch’s Neil Fallon for a Cheap Trick power-pop jam. “Sorry Sack of Bones” posits an alternate universe in which the Cramps had production, “Cloud 9” breaks out the power balladry, and “Parasite” gives you 40 seconds in pop-punk heaven. They don’t even get to anything metallic until the penultimate track, “The Everlasting,” which could’ve been a Black Album B-side.

As you can tell, there’s a lot going on here. Too much so. At 14 songs, it starts to get mired down in alternating alt-rock/rockabilly sameness. Just because CDs aren’t a thing anymore doesn’t mean CD bloat doesn’t still exist. You can’t really blame them for wanting to give fans a full helping of the ‘beat, but it can get exhausting, especially since the results diminish in the middle. Still, enough of the tracks hit that it beats the hell out of whatever the hell else is on terrestrial rock radio right now.

Volbeat’s Rewind, Replay, Rebound lands August 2 on Universal. Listen to “Pelvis on Fire” here and pre-order the album here.

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