Canadian Punk Rockers The Bloody Hell, from Halifax, Nova Scotia, describe themselves and their sound as “pretty much what would happen if George Thorogood sang for the Misfits, but all the songs were written by Tom Petty.” They finally return with their follow-up to their 2018 self-titled debut album, with the nine-track, twenty-eight-minute offering, Nobody Cares.
The Bloody Hell – Nobody Cares (Self-released)
Release Date: Out Now
Words: Jools Green
The album took about three years to complete due to Covid-19 restrictions, lockdown, and all the madness that was the pandemic,” the band says. “With this album, we feel our sound has evolved nicely from the previous record released in 2018. We have worked hard to shape our songwriting and storytelling abilities, and that is thoroughly displayed over the nine tracks on this album.”
Vocalist/guitarist Ian Kean adds, “We are hoping that fans who loved our first album will be super excited to hear this one to see how our songwriting has progressed. We hope that people hearing us for the first time will find something in our sound to relate to or sing along with.”
I really enjoyed the debut, a catchy, up-tempo, easy listen packed with humour that was sometimes dark but always engaging and entertaining, and Nobody Cares continues in that vein. Over the last two years during the Covid-19 pandemic, they managed to get out two excellent singles and music videos, Nobody Cares About America Anymore and When You’re Gone. Finally, the rest of the album is here to enjoy. I think it will please old fans and generate new ones.
Regarding the album, vocalist/guitarist Ian Kean says “it’s a true story, and we mean every word, hook, and note on it. We give an emotional rollercoaster for your eyes and mind with twists and turns, ups and downs. Just as life is. All the lyrics come from personal experiences, whether it be a relationship failure or success, a wild story of substance abuse, or just an observation about world events. I write what I know and try to be truthful in my lyrics.”
Opening on the instrumental intro As Above, the brainchild of the band lead guitarist James Densley, who is also pretty talented behind the piano, so much so he’s also known from Bubbles, and The Shit Rockers, the band fronted by the character Bubbles from the TV programme The Trailer Park Boys. It’s a sombre, haunting and reflective piece that you wouldn’t expect from a Punk orientated band, but I do love a surprise.
The pace elevates with Hide Away, a driver of a track with a catchy Punk groove completed with Ian Kean’s raw, rugged vocal delivery and soaring up-tempo leadwork. Lyrically it’s about being unable to commit emotionally and paying the price for it.
Continuing in the failed romance theme, When You’re Gone is an aggressive anti-love song of sorts. There’s a definite sadness to the guitarwork, with the poignant line, “I wish we never met, but I won’t forget you when you’re gone.” It might be filled with sadness, but it’s a catchy singalong number, as is the whole of the release.
Barbra is a cover of an old Canadian Punk song by legendary Vancouver power pop, new wave Punk band Modernettes, from their ’81 album Gone… But Not Forgiven. With a lyrical theme of teenage angst, I love this version, it’s rawer with a modern twist, but it still keeps true to the original.
G is a six-minute beast of an instrumental The Bloody Hell had been kicking around for a while, but it never felt complete for them. They’ve now added saxophone to the track, creating a slightly sexy, slightly sleazy, totally superb mid-album piece that adds yet another surprise to this release. I love it!
Nobody Cares About America Anymore is “an anti-political song. We consider it as a radically indifferent social commentary,” the band say. It’s rammed to the gills with energy and aggression and is an engaging and powerful listen.
In contrast Rulers Of The Night is a horror punk offering that is a little more laid back than the previous piece and most of the rest of the album which they describe as “a sort of a teenage fantasy type of theme about being the anti-cool kids, loosely based on the movie The Lost Boys.”
Dead To Me, their “bastardization of the classic blues formula,” is catchy as hell. It’s allegedly “a true story of a love gone terribly wrong.” Has she turned Vampire? Or is she just a bit flighty? You decide. Either way, it’s a punchy punk driver.
The outro, So Below, is the other half of the piano piece by James Densley, again a sombre, haunting and reflective piece that closes the album as it opened.
Punk and horror punk fans should find Nobody Cares of great interest. It is available as a digital download from https://thebloodyhell.bandcamp.com/album/nobody-cares, as well as available on all the usual streaming services.