Hell’s Addiction – Nine O’Clock Horses


I hold my hand up: the name Hell’s Addiction is not one I’d heard of until I came across the promo with this album in my inbox. Funny enough, it got my attention as a result of an error: I thought the promo was for Jane’s Addiction instead. I thought; wow, wouldn’t an interview with them be one massive opportunity! Well, Jane’s Addiction it wasn’t, however I am pleased to have discovered this Leicester band anyway.

Their breakthrough came in 2016 when they played at Download, which is the year they became a five-piece band and their dynamics changed massively. Nine O’Clock Horses is their third album and their first release since Covid, which was a period they struggled with and even contemplated giving up music altogether. Good job they didn’t, as this album is a damn good piece. It is very well rounded, abundant of raw energy, from start to finish, much like the kind of music you’ll hear on the albums of acts like H.E.A.T. and Eclipse: explosive rock that doesn’t really slow down (well, it does, but just for one song, ‘Your Master Plan’), and keeps you hooked track after track.

In terms of influences and likenesses, there is so much to find here, and each listener may well hear something different for themselves. First time I gave the album a spin, it struck me as majorly influenced by Motley Crüe (‘You Cannot Hide’, ‘Leave It Alone’) and Def Leppard (‘Run For Your Life’, ‘Stare Into The Sun’, ‘Upside Down’). Second time around, all I could hear was Guns N’ Roses (in the riff and energy of ‘Crying Over Me’ and ‘Upside Down’, as a couple of examples’), Whitesnake (as a general vibe and also in ‘Your Master Plan’ and Bon Jovi (‘Scream Your Name’). My son, on the other hand, was adamant that all he could hear was ZZ Top. So, really, each to their own, depending on their own musical range. The more I listen to it, the more it grows on me and the more I change my mind about influences, settling more towards Def Leppard and God knows what else from the 80’s (a bit of Disturbed, too – in ‘Master Plan’). Instead of trying to nitpick, therefore, it’s best to focus on the actual music and enjoy it, as it is very much an original product and comparing it to the masters of rock, though helpful, is a bit futile.

The entire album contains hit material throughout, with no particular tracks to pick, as they are equally good. The overall vibe it gives out is that this is kind of what Hysteria was to Def Leppard, i.e. the band’s undisputable masterpiece to date; stellar rock that keeps you on the edge of your seat and does not let go. All songs are perfectly composed and instrumented, and the vocals of Ben Sargent are admirable: one moment you think his range is about the same of Jon Bon Jovi’s (quite good, but, still, not the best singer ever), next moment he’ll sing something that would do justice to no less than Joe Elliott – so, very well done indeed.

If you, like me, had not heard of Hell’s Addiction until now, then make a note of it. This is definitely a name to remember and look out for on festival posters. If you are their fan already, then don’t wait and go buy their album: it will give you the time of your life.

Track List:

  1. Cannot Hide
  2. Crying Over Me
  3. Give Me a Sign
  4. Leave It Alone
  5. Love
  6. Playing Chicken With a Knife
  7. Run For Your Life
  8. Save Me
  9. Scream Your Name
  10. Stare Into The Sun
  11. Upside Down
  12. Your Master Plan