Hellions cemented their status as one of Australia’s premier bands in the alternative music world with their 2016 album Opera Oblivia. With new album Rue, the band have managed to build on the magic of Opera Oblivia and have further developed on the trademark recipe of their contrasting vocal styles, melodic choruses and theatrical inspirations.

This familiar sound of Opera Oblivia is best shown in singles ‘Smile’, ‘Furrow’ and ‘X (mwah)’ with each given a dash of upbeat pop turning every chorus into an anthem. A direct nod of the head is made to the previous album in ‘The Lotus’ and ‘26’, the extended chapters of 2016’s ‘Lotus Eater’ and ‘24’.

However, the most exciting parts of the album come in the introduction of new sounds, from the circus-inspired interludes in ‘(Blueberry)’ and ‘(Theatre Of)’, and the most upbeat, catchy and funk lead standouts, ‘Get Up’ and ‘Odyssey’. Each of these songs being a toe-dipping tease of a new style that favours the band more than anything else on the album.

‘(Cocoon)’, ‘Rue’ and ‘Harshlight’ explore slower tempo verses building to massive sing-along choruses, complimenting the pace of the album.

Hellions have once again delivered, creating one of the best albums of the year.  While many fans would have been happy with another Opera Oblivia the band have expanded and experimented finding new strengths while providing familiar comfort. Opera Oblivia might be seen as the album that put Hellions on the map, but Rue may be the new fan favourite.

***** 5 stars out of 5

Rue – Hellions – Released – October 19th