Yours Until The Bitter End - The Bloody Hollies (Alive Naturalsound)

yours-until-the-bitter-endYou think you know me? I pick up the CD. Dumb band name. Dumb pun band name. Is there anything worse? God, I hope they are not whacky – or worse; zany. Pun band names often lead to zany. The scourge of Rock and Roll. I could always save the next 40 minutes of my life and just throw the thing away unplayed. The Barman said I could do that. Let me take a closer look.

Four guys on the cover, too lazy to even pose for the camera. They’re sitting on their amps. The drummer has a moustache and crossed legs. I’d cross the street if I saw them; not from fear but from the repulsion at the failure of natural selection. Nah, I should give them their day in court. Fair is fair and I’m really trying hard not to mow down random strangers. A sensitive new age Bob. That’s me.

Laser hits disc. White Stripes like vocals. Chord progressions with all the self important obviousness of Pearl Jam’s “Ten”. There’s a bit of Pistols/Nirvana around the bottom end. Songs pushing the five minute mark from that seven different songs in one school of over-write. Christ. There’s even a guest violinist getting dangerously close to Prog. It’s a bad recipe, right? You can sense me reach for the hemlock, right?

Fuck no. This is great. I don’t know how the sum of such unwieldy and unpromising parts has pulled it off but this shit is gold. Gold I tells you. Detroit style hard rock covering Jack White b-sides. Sounds awful? Yeah, I can’t believe it. The whole surpasses the sum of its parts. Mutated surf riffs pound away. A rolling storm of drums. A splash of MC5 fury. Some Flamin’ Groovies slide. A borrowed outro from Love’s “Seven Plus Seven is”. A riff from here and a riff from there. And it is all thrown into the blender and out of the speakers with total abandon and pedal to the metal histrionics. It’s unrelenting. It refuses to pause for breath. A great glorious noise that pins you up against the wall and tells you how much it loves rock and roll. You could slam this fucker in your car stereo and go cruising down Satan’s highway. It makes you want to swig from a bottle of Wild Turkey, pull out a baseball bat and decapitate a few mail boxes. It makes you want to do dumb things. Fun things. And forget about the coming hangover. This is music that’ll have you spending the night in jail.

Honestly. The assembly of what is ultimately fifty years of rock and roll clichés is redeemed by balls to the wall, no compromise, kick out the fucking jams self belief. The lyrics aren’t worth quoting. The songs aren’t worth naming. The performance is the thing and there is no rest for the wicked here. It is well worth adding to your current playlist. Download it. Steal it or buy it. Just get the thing. Take off your stupid headphones and play this loud enough to annoy the neighbours. The first nine songs are excellent and they should have ended the album there. Track Ten “John Wayne Brown”, is a change of pace country rock ballad that people used to throw away on B-sides. But, hell. That’s what the off button is for. Still worth a five bottle review.

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Tags: alive, naturalsound, bloody, hollies, yours until the bitter end

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