Volbeat can’t seem to make up their mind. They could easily be pop-punk thanks to their vocal harmonies and chewy pop melodies, metal because of their breakdowns of thrash guitar riffs, one of those radio friendly hard rock bands, or rockabilly due to Michael Poulsen’s doo-wop styled vocals. Fusing the esthetic of Queens Of The Stone Age and No Use For A Name, this Danish rock band’s genre jumping annoying and overdone.
Their new album, Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood, starts off with a clunky resonator playing bluesy riffs and quickly goes into their hard rock title track, which introduces the ‘50s theme of the album. “Back To Prom” features hopeless romantic lyrics with catchy punk bass lines and “Wild Rover Of Hell” is a thrash metal song that injects pleasing vocal harmonies during the breakdowns. By themselves the songs are okay, but as a whole it doesn’t work. Though the graphic novel/ film noir theme was a good idea, it doesn’t make any sense without the specific explanations before the lyrics in the booklet.
Though Guitar Gangsters & Cadillac Blood may appeal to a wide audience because they sound like a twist of AFI and Johnny Cash, it ends up sounding like a mush of different tracks with the same lead singer. Poulsen’s voice is really powerful and clean, but the vocals aren’t rugged and rough enough to match with the band’s shadowy melodies.
In A Word: Clusterfuck