Courtesy: Dark Star Records/Sony
When veteran rock band Angeles released its 12th full-length studio recording Fire It Up last year, it was the first time in more than 40 years that the band, founded by Dale Lytle, had released any new music to the masses. Having been away from the limelight for such a long time, one would have thought the band would have had a hard time getting back into the swing of things, but as it turned out, the case was quite the opposite. Now less than a year after its release, Angeles has returned with a new album in the form of Hell on High Heels and slightly changed lineup, — now former vocalist Gwendolyn Casella parted ways with the band following the album’s release and was subsequently replaced by new front man Louis Collins. The eight-song record is scheduled for release Friday through Dark Star Records/Sony. The new forthcoming 30-minute record continues the success that the band enjoyed in Fire It Up and builds on that success with its musical and lyrical content. That is proven in part through one of the album’s latest singles, ‘Celebrate.’ It will be discussed shortly. ‘Heal The Wounds,’ which is another of the album’s singles, is another way in which the album shows the band’s continued success on this record. ‘Start Living’ is yet another example of what make Angeles’ new album another successful effort from the band. Together with the other two songs noted here and the other five songs not noted here, the whole of Hell on High Heels proves to be another work that will certainly appeal to Angeles’ most devoted fan base as well as the most devoted 80s rock aficionados.
Angeles’ forthcoming album Hell on High Heels is a positive return for the band, especially having come less than a year after the band released the record’s predecessor Fire It Up. Considering how little time has passed between these two records – unlike Fire It Up and its predecessor – one might think the album might feel rushed, and in turn messy. However, the exact opposite is the case here. That is proven in part through one of the album’s latest singles, ‘Celebrate.’ The musical arrangement at the center of ‘Celebrate’ is an upbeat, positive work that lends itself to comparisons to works from the likes of Poison, Ratt, and Motley Crue. The noted musical arrangement fits the song’s lyrical theme, which touts the joy of just being together with friends and family. It is that full-on happy, upbeat party rock sound that was so popular during that age of big guitar riffs and even bigger hair. The positive vibe exuded by the song’s musical arrangement does well to help convey the sense of joy that is exhibited through the song’s lyrical content.
Collins sings in the song’s lead verse, “Slip on my boots/And get my head on right/We’re going to a rock and roll show/meet up with the boys/And we’re heading to the club/We’re fired up and ready to go/Raise a glass tonight and let’s celebrate/It’s only midnight and it’s not too late.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “The drinks are flowing/And the music’s pumping/We’re having a real good time/the pretty girls are dancing and they’re looking at me/Gonna make one of ‘em mine/Sweet little Susie’s coming home with me/And we’re gonna set the night on fire/We’re back to my place and we have some fun/burnin’ like a funeral pyre.” From there, the story continues, telling about the morning after that night of celebration with friends and what followed. Little Suzie stayed the night and left the next afternoon, not to give away too much. From there, Collins sings about working hard all week and in turn, celebrating on the weekend. It’s never revealed if the song’s subject saw little Susie again. That is left to the listener’s imagination. That aside, the overall…well..celebratory nature of this song musically and lyrically makes it a work that lives up to its name and will assuredly keep listeners engaged and entertained what with that throwback musical and lyrical style. It is just one of the songs that makes Hell on High Heels another positive offering from Angeles. ‘Heal The Wounds’ is another way in which the album shows its strength.
Much as is the case with ‘Celebrate,’ this song’s arrangement is another full-on throwback to the guitar-laden rock that made the 80s such a notable musical era. While the stylistic approach is the same, the sound is anything but. This song’s musical arrangement is more akin to Poison’s ‘Every Rose Has Its Thorn’ and some older works from Bon Jovi. It starts off soft and simple before becoming much more bombastic yet still ballad-esque in the same stylistic vein of the noted older works. That familiar stylistic approach will appeal to the already mentioned audiences just as much as the arrangement featured in ‘Celebrate.’ It goes well with the contemplative nature in the song’s lyrical theme, which serves as a reminder to listeners that “time will heal the wounds,” of a broken relationship, as front man Louis Collins sings in the song’s chorus.
Collins sings sings in the song’s lead verse, “I’m all out of things to say/Out of tears to cry/All out of thoughts…Can barely let out a sigh/the memories and time/All pas me by/See you on the street/Makes me wanna die/Time will heal the wounds/Time will kill the pain.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “I’m all out of whisky/I’m down to my last cigarette/Trying to get it together/I haven’t figured it out just yet/Sleepless nights, they haunt me/I’m laying down in a cold sweat/It’s time for me to go/It’s time to raise my bet/’Cause time will heal the wounds/Time will kill the pain.” Following this point, listeners are presented the story of the actual breakup and the subject’s emotional recovery from that breakup. It would explain the much more uplifting sound that gradually develops through the remainder of the song. Considering that the song’s subject reminds himself that time will heal the wounds and kill the pain, this is a key to continuing to make sure this song connects just as easily with listeners through its words as much as through its music. All things considered, the song is just one more way in which Hell on High Heels proves its strength in itself and within the bigger community of new 80s rock style releases put out so far this year. ‘Start Living’ is yet another way in which the album holds its own alongside its counterparts.
‘Start Living’ is another positive, uplifting (so to speak) work featured in Angeles’ latest album. That is due in part to its musical arrangement, which is a work that is as energetic and upbeat as ‘Celebrate.’ Its sound and approach is also just as similar to works from Motley Crue and others as that song. It should be noted that even with that stylistic similarity, the song still bears its own sound, so it is not just ripping off the works from those bands or even itself. To that end, the song’s arrangement does its own part to keep listeners engaged and entertained in this case. Its lyrical content builds on that engagement and entertainment.
Much like ‘Celebrate’ is a full-on song that pays homage to being out with friends and just living the rock and roll life, so does this song in its own right. Collins even sings in the song’s lead verse, “Thirty days in and I’m feeling down…Sick of the walls/I’m tired and bored/I wanna rock the world.But I’m stuck indoors/Let’s get moving/Start living all night long.” He continues in the song’s second verse, “Look at my guitar/I play real loud/And take the shows to the biggest crowd/Party all night with the pretty girls…getting in the fights with the boys in the band…Patch things p with a whiskey shot/Do it again tomorrow/Ready or not/let’s get moving/Start living all night long.” Now while some of the lyrics are indecipherable without a lyrics sheet to reference, enough is understood in this case that it is pretty obvious what is being addressed here. There is a mention of fever making someone feel bad. It could be interpreted that this has to do something with the impact of COVID-19, considering that the album was being recorded late last year and early this year as COVID-19 started to take over the world. That mention of getting tired of looking at the walls strengthens that supposition even more. It comes across as Collins talking about just wanting to get out and live, to get out and hit the road, which is what so many bands, acts and groups want to do, but sadly likely won’t get to do until at least next year. It makes for its own engagement and entertainment for audiences. That is because the fans want to be out there just as much as the bands. Keeping that collective mindset and the energy and sound in the song’s musical arrangement, it becomes increasingly clear why this song is another standout addition to Hell on High Heels. It is certain to become an anthem in its own right as bands and audiences alike await the return of live music. Together with the other songs noted here and the rest of its works, Hell on High Heels shows why it is a positive return for Angeles.
Angeles has scored another win with its 13th full-length studio recording, Hell on High Heels. That is due in no small part to its musical arrangements and lyrical themes, all of which are sure to engage and entertain audiences in their own way. That is proven through three of the album’s eight songs addressed here. When that trio of songs is addressed along with the rest of the album’s works, the album in whole proves, again, why it is another positive return for the band. Hell on High Heels is scheduled for release Friday through Dark Star Records/Sony.
The album’s track listing and recording information is noted below.
‘Hell On High Heels’ tracklisting:
1. Hell On High Heels – Lytle/Collins – 4:43
2. Celebrate – Lytle/Collins – 3:37
3. Heal The Wounds – Lytle/Collins – 3:52
4. Apocalypse – Lytle/Collins – 4:24
5. Start Living – Lytle/Collins – 2:58
6. Rolling Like Thunder – Lytle/Collins – 3:56
7. Run – Lytle/Collins – 3:06
8. Holly Fenton – Merrit/James – 3:22
Music recorded at Clear Lake Recording Studios N. Hollywood CA – Ara Sarkisian.
Vocals recorded at MT Studios Burbank CA – Matt Thorne.
Produced by Dale Lytle and Matt Thorne
Mixed and mastered by Matt Thorne
Front cover by Jeffrey A. Swanson
Back cover by Connie Lytle
Graphic Design by Monarch Digital Design
More information on Angeles’ new album is available online along with all of the band’s latest news at:
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