Second albums often make or break a band, but it seems that German passionate, upbeat, anthemic punk rockers HELL & BACK have nothing to worry about. Their follow-up record “Slowlife” hit the streets on June 30th via Fond Of Life Records, and even after numerous listens it’s still difficult to get bored with. These guys have managed to toe the line between subtlety and energy, aging into their next chapter with truly solid release. Easy on the ears, heartfelt, and well detailed, “Slowlife” establishes HELL & BACK as one of the coolest European melodic punk rock bands to watch. We’re really pleased to recall the record and give you the official track by track breakdown, offered directly by the band. Hit the playt button and check it out after the scroll.
1. Treasure Chest – It is always a challenge for us to pick the first song for a record. “Treasure Chest” was planned to be the first track of the B-Side, but after discussions we figured out that this should be the number one since it represents the album best with its energy, melody and dynamic.
2. Fiction & History – One of the political songs of slowlife. Writing about constitutional religion wasn’t an easy thing to do. Believing in a god or something else isn’t a bad thing when you do it only for yourself but constitutional religion has poisoned humanity ever since.
3. Nailed It – A song about dumb people how can’t handle with social media. Basically every douche who thinks his narrow minded views would be interesting enough to post it somewhere. We really love the drive of this song and the energy. This is the first song with a video off the record.
4. War. What Is It Good For? – We always just try to have a good mix of fast and mid-tempo songs on our records. It brings more variety especially to long players. This one we wanted to keep as simple as possible: raw, melodic and fast. This is probably the most political song on the record, dealing with what my grand-dad experienced in WWII and how his story made my a pacifist.
5. It´s Not A Lie (If You Believe It) – “It’s Not A Lie” is a contrast to the song before, a major mid-tempo melodic song with lyrical winks. This is a good example of our songwriting, based on the classical refrain – verse – refrain – scheme plus an extra refrain in the end with the lead guitar playing the melody of the voice.
6. Slowlife – Writing an album is always a challenge There are songs that takes you weeks to write/re-write and there are songs you finish fast. And I can’t remember a song that we spend more time writing than the title track of this album. Probably the most experimental song we’ve written so far.
7. Cringer – The album is out since 2 months now and some friends mentioned that they really like this song because they can see themselves in the lyrics of the song. Our bass player Daniel wrote them and I really love to sing them.
8. Not Getting It – In the writing process I often loose track and an overall view of the whole thing. And when you are browsing through all the demo songs there are song that are great songs but you totally forgot about them. This is one of these songs.
9. Oblivion – One of the first songs we wrote for the record. I can remember that we changed the key of this tune a couple of times till everybody was happy with it and fitted to the vocals.
10. Head Over Heals – Another fast one and one of the last songs we wrote. The basic song idea was like most of our songs from our guitar player Taner and he also wrote most of the vocal lines for this tune.
11. Still Fading – This one was my favorite song for a long time but I never really was satisfied with the last part of it. I can remember that we just changed the bass riff a little and just jammed again over it and this is what came out – one of my favorite moments of the record.
12. Start From Scratch – I really love this tune. Probably my favorite Hell & Back song yet. We never had a song with that driving drum beat but it gives it such a cool energy. I also like the bad religionish background choir of the refrain. Our friends of the band called The Plastic Smile helped us once again here with their perfect harmonic voices.