From the dusty desert plains of Norway come Helldorado (and apparently they are very popular in Turkey!) with their dark take on spaghetti westerns, with a sound that appears to be influenced by Ennio Morricone (the use of horns is uncanny), and Quentin Tarantino. Conjuring up images of a dark isolated pained world. Welcome to the world of alternative country…

With their first release some 10-11 years ago, they are about to release their latest album “Bones In The Closet” on May 20th.

Opening with that bass line that made me draw the comparison to Tarantino with its rich guitar riffs, giving it that South American feel, and the wind section just adding to the Spaghetti Western feel. The opening track tells of the singer about to meet the Gallows, and sets the scene for the rest of the album. Things take a slight turn with “Misery and Woe”, almost dipping into the Dark Cabaret genre with it’s opening, and the vocals are beautifully offset to the piano. The track is pained, yet strangely haunting and compelling track as the music flows, whilst the singer “drowns in misery”.


Possibly the strongest track is “John McMiller”, and is no doubt a crowd pleaser, with it’s strong chorus, slightly distorted vocals (think old time microphone), and solid beat. It tells the tale of a killer who doesn’t plan to work any more. He has blood on his hands, and blood on his collar. A punchy track offset with trumpets and keys.

Double bass driven “Please Come Back” this subsides into the piano and strings opening to “Time of Trials” which turns every down a notch, and tells the tale of a good man who gets sucked into another life due to misfortune.

The title track “Bones In The Closet” has the haunted sound of a twisted Mariachi band, providing everything you need to know about the up and coming tracks. Both “Bones In The Closet” and “Lost Highway Motel” with a rhythm at times that would not be out of place with Nick Cave. Although, the video to “Bones In The Closet” [below] has the feel of early cyberpunk (thinking desert scenes from hardware in places).

The only song to break with the theme of the album is “69 Camero”, but even this fits in with the sound of the album. With it’s alternative rock ‘n roll feel, thumping bass, horns by the Hellhorns, lyrics almost spat out, and a drum beat keep it all together, as the guitars punch out their rhythm.

“Johnny’s Song” slows proceedings right down with a love song about a woman married to her man who was locked up, and knew if set free would break the law again. Out on parole he finds her and beats her. This is his song.

Closing the album id “Sixty Seconds To What?” and instrumental track, that flows on from “Johnny’s Song” seamlessly, and finishes the proceedings in a fitting way suitable for any spaghetti western.


This album is a slice of perceived Americana from the dark side of the tracks. I would use the “spaghetti western ” phrase again, but as they come from Norway I am not sure it totally applies, and my Norwegian is rusty (okay non-existent!). The album is balanced between dark, dare I say, the rockier tracks, and those which carry a heavy weight of a burdened life, either a life gone astray, or one of lost love. This is not a happy album, but it is dark journey into a twilight world of an alternative history, and it is done well.

Line Up
Morten Jackman – Drums
Dag Vagle – Guitar & Vocals
Hans Wassvik – Bass

Ole Ellingsen – Trumpet,
Jon Eirik Steinstoe – Trumpet & Keyboard

Track Listing
Gallow’s Bird
Misery and Woe
Dead World
John McMiller
Please Come Back
Times Of Trials
Bones In the Closet
Two Headed Horseman
’69 Camero
Lost Highway Motel
Johnny’s Song
Sixty Seconds to What?


Words, Toscanelli, and Beaver Felt by Jon.

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