“Awesome band with a great sound! They’re sure to go far.” – Radio Horror
“Just so fucking good it boggles the mind” – Durandal, Last.fm
“Fuck this plagiaristic shit, the REAL Hell’s Belles will always be the rogue metal machine of Paul Quigley” – Durandal, Last.fm
RAW LP 015
LOUD, FAST, aggressive music can easily degenerate into a hackneyed mess like Kreator, or any of those dime-a-dozen acts Xavier Russell digs so much. But Hells Belles’ debut is this year’s model for controlled mayhem.
‘Hells Belles’ is on par with first album releases by Rogue Male (quite a close link), Queensrÿche or Motörhead. A little dose of najesty par excellence, making Onslaught look like Marillion in the energy stakes.
First track ‘Looks Like Love’ could’ve possibly started life as Zeppelin’s ‘Achilles Last Stand’. It’s epic, it’s long, it’s a galloping gourmet topped up with Diamond Head-like riffing.
‘Barricades’ (a recent 12″ single) and ‘Strange Love’ boil up a barrage of radioactive guitars, barbed wire strung. And there’s more, lots of it. ‘Desire Me’ and ‘Overload’ are perfect for serious nutters and neurologists alike.
Of course, we’re all bozos on this bus, and that’s why you’ll dig it, I know. Hells Belles contain an ex-member of Discharge (guitarist Pooch), someone who used to be in Bronz (vocalist Paul Quigley) and a forerunner to the bass position in Rogue Male (Gareth Holder), not to mention guest contributions from Ozzy Osbourne’s one-time keyboard maestro Lyndsay Bridgwater.
A mass revolution in your living room? Yes darlings, and more.
DEREK OLIVER (KERRANG! JULY 1986)
The Wellington, Shepherd’s Bush
HELL’S BELLES may be relative newcomers to the London scene (what there is of it), but evidently their reputation carries enough clout to attract a surprisingly large-ish crowd by the Wellington’s standards.
Surprising because this was the night that England faced Poland in an all-important World Cup fixture (remember that?). Heavy competition indeed, but Hell’s Belles possessed more than enough musical muscle to see off piddling little annoyances like the World Cup!
The recently released debut album from the ‘Belles is a fiery offering showcasing their excellent debut single, ‘Barricades’ – a stack-heeled stomper in best Mötley Crüe tradition. Inserted halfway through the set with all the sneak attack potential of a nuclear warhed on a fast-burning fuse. ‘Barricades’ is an exciting indication of just how good this band could be given a little spit’n'polish.
However, this qualification doesn’t apply to vocalist Paul Quigley who is just perfect already, thank you, blessed as he is with Jon Bon Jovi’s moves and looks and Vince Neil’s vocal chords (etc…). Quigley commands the stage with a cocky self-assured swagger all too rare amongst British performers.
Unfortunately, the other band members (Pooch-guitar, Spiv-drums and Gareth Holder-bass) have a little less charisma…a little less charisma than a plank of wood that is! Guitarist Pooch plays competently enough but is it really necessary for him to spend most of the performance hiding behind the PA stack?
Shy guitarists aside, I like Hell’s Belles and it’s not just me – oh no. Derek Oliver thinks they’re pretty cool and Dave Ling thinks they’re boring (a sure sign of quality!). I’ll leave you to make up your own minds.
MAURA SUTTON. (KERRANG! JULY 1986).