I have to say, I like The Bloody Hollies. Their first couple of albums passed me by but I came across them via 2005′s If Footmen Tire You…, and its follow up from 2007, Who To Trust Who To Kill Who To Love. Both records were released by the ever reliable Alive Natural Sounds label. It’s been a long four year wait but there’s finally a new album and it may well be their best yet. The album’s title hints at their desire to keep on rocking, along with their dedication to their audience. Or, it may well be a more prosaic touring reference in the no-sleep-til-Booklyn/Hammersmith mode, (The Bitter End being a famous Greenwich Village venue.)
The move from the band’s native Buffalo, NY home to San Diego may have broadened their musical horizons as, along with the no-nonsense pedal to the metal drive and hard riffing sonic attack, there’s a more diverse array of styles and instrumentation on this latest platter.
‘Dirty Sex’ is a case in point with its sleazy slide guitar and more laid back southern boogie feel and there’s even a violin solo on ‘Goodnight, Sleep Tight’. The most revelatory departure, however, is the acoustic talking blues of ‘John Wayne Brown’ — a toe tapping tale of old time religion over harmonica, guitar and mandolin backing. For the most part the blues-punk of old is still intact with just the right amount of tunefulness in their Stooges style rock ‘n’ roll, while still maintaining a healthy distance from any frothy pop-punk nonsense.
There’s almost certainly going to be some Jack White comparisons for vocalist Wesley Doyle. His fast anguished howl on ‘Leave That Woman Alone’ occupying similar ground to that of the garage rock wonder boy. The truth is that both the White Stripes and The Bloody Hollies came through as part of the early noughties garage rock uprising. The one major difference however, is that The Bloody Hollies are still with us. The fact that Detroit rock legend Jim Diamond produced the album will only compound the comparisons but it’s a pairing that works. He seems to have brought out all that’s good in them. Long may they both continue.