Hank Von Hell – Egomania

It’s been eight years since popular and absurdly costumed Norwegian Death-punk act Turbonegro split with frontman Hank von Hell (aka Hank von Helvete, Hank Herzog von Helvete, Hank From Hell, Herr Tugen, Hertugen, Hanky El Magnifico, Frank Hank, Hanky, Hertis, Hans Erik Dyvik Husby). Eight long years since the world was treated to classic song titles such as ‘Hobbit Motherfuckers’, ‘Bad Mongo’, Rendezvous With Anus’, ‘Blow Me (Like The Wind)’ and of course ‘I Got Erection’. 

In that time, Turbonegro recruited new singer Anthony Madsen-Sylvester, and released Sexual Harrassment in 2012 and RockNRoll Machine (both on Scandinavian Leather Recordings) in February this year. Meanwhile, after getting clean and sober, releasing the I Declare: Treason (Season of Mist) album with Doctor Midnight & The Mercy Cult, writing an autobiography and stating he would never return to the music scene, Hank has been busy ignoring that final part and is totally returning to the music scene with his first solo album Egomania (Century Media).

An eighties Hard Rock vibe is preferred to the noisy punk of early Turbonegro, Egomania carries on where the more melodic moments of Retox (Scandinavian Leather Recordings) left off, and is crammed with sizzling hooks and riffs. The uptempo, good time feeling of the title track opens the record and is quickly followed by the driving, harder-edged Rock of ‘Pretty Decent Exposure’. The swaggering sleaze of ‘Blood’ is like Aerosmith and Def Leppard spent a drunken weekend together in 1989, and ‘Dirty Money’ is the sound of NOFX gate crashing the party.

The first single to be lifted from the album, ‘Bum to Bum’ is deliriously bouncy and cursed with a chorus you probably won’t admit to singing along with. But you will. And you’ll be grinning like an idiot as you do it.  Slowing things down is the moody hard rock blues of the Alice Cooper-esque ‘Never Again’, while the assured strut of ‘Bombwalk Chic’ the chorus-driven ‘Wild Boy Blues’, and the raucous, Wildhearts style energy of ‘Too High’ pick things up again before closing with the darkly comical and completely schizophrenic ‘Adios (Where’s My Sombrero)’.

A sparkling, stupidly catchy collection of Hard/Punk Rock/Metal songs that will surely have you reaching for the repeat button; if Egomania doesn’t put a smile on your face and blast the cobwebs out of your ears, then most likely nothing will. Welcome back, Hank/Hanky/Hans/Frank/Hertis etc…

8.5/10

GARY ALCOCK