VIKING SKULL
"Born In Hell"

(456)

01. Born In Hell
02. Crank the Volume
03. Red Hot Woman
04. Frostbite
05. Saddle Up
06. Seedealer
07. Beers Drugs and Bitches
08. Rock and Roll Suicide
09. Dirty Dirty Hole
10. Inject My Woman (With Love)
11. You Can't Kill Rock and Roll

RATING: 6.5/10

From THE DARKNESS to ANDREW W.K. to MANITOBA'S WILD KINGDOM and all the way back to SPINAL TAP, the question has been raised — how deliberately flat-out corny and ironic can a band be and still rock? Swaggering U.K. cock-rockers VIKING SKULL (yeah, I know, I thought it was gonna be power metal too) won't bring us any closer to a definitive answer, if one exists. But they'll drink, fuck and fight a lot, and even if it's being delivered with an aren't-we-clever wink and a nod, those are still the basic building blocks of rock and roll, right?

Roddy Stone has a voice that's somewhere between Angry Anderson, the guy from GRAVE DIGGER, and a professional wrestler on a drunken bender. His phlegmy exhortations to "come on baby, taste the love" and "on your knees, take my demon seed" are hilarious (at least for the first few songs), even as his voice starts to fade into so much strained gurgling. Riff-wise, we're looking at blatantly lifted pieces of AC/DC, THIN LIZZY, RIOT, delivered with cheeky abandon and the same over-the-top attitude that makes these guys' main band, RAGING SPEEDHORN, such a wild-eyed good time.

"Born In Hell" is a short, silly, fun slab of heavy metal cliché that'll probably go over a lot better with people who don't actually, like, listen to heavy metal (thus the affiliation with Bam Margera and Carson Daly's label makes perfect sense). A little of it goes a long way, but despite the irritating cheese factor, there are some moments of genuine drunken headbanging fun to be had here.

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