Favorite

Hillstomp: Darker the Night (In Music We Trust) 

The third studio album by this raw country-blues-punk duo from Portland starts with "Hammer Ring," which sounds like a field chant filtered through a beat-up old transistor radio, with shots of shallow bucket drums walloping through the distortion.

That wallop, provided by Lord Johnny Bucket (aka John Johnson), is the heart of Hillstomp's Appalachia-meets-the-Delta sound, and if you don't watch out, it'll smack you upside the head while you're digging on Henry Kammerer's rough-hewn blues wail, and his furious two- and three-chord guitar dust devils.

This album has a decidedly bleak tone, especially on the harrowing "Jumper on the Line" and the banjo-led murder ballad "Cold Dark Woods." Things get chaotic/cathartic with the revved-up "Cardiac Arrest in D," which many fans of Tucson's late Doo Rag will find appealing. The record closes with a delicious slow-stomp version—complete with blues harp—of Mississippi Fred McDowell's "You Got to Move."

Gospel-style background vocals flesh out the terrifying title track, which recalls an old Robert Johnson lament pumped up on meth: "If I was alone tonight and I had a gun / I'd do to myself what someone else should've done." It's creepy enough to cause you to hope it's purely fictional.

More by Gene Armstrong

  • Primer

    Tony Furtado
    • May 29, 2014
  • Wills Meets Reinhardt

    L.A.'s Cow Bop blends bebop and Western swing into a superbly danceable combo
    • May 22, 2014
  • Finding (the Eighth) Mr. Right

    Superb performances drive the '60s satire of Live Theatre Workshop's Loot
    • May 15, 2014
  • More »

Comments

Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment

The Range

Get Lost in the (Buffalo) Sauce

Song of the Day: Billy Sedlmayr On Why The Small Faces' 'Tin Soldier' Makes Him Fall in Love With Rock 'N' Roll Again and Again ...

P.P. Arnold, Ronnie Lane, Steve Marriott, Glyn Johns, Kenny Jones, Ian "Mac" McLagan, Billy Sedlmayr

Painting for Pups

More »

Latest in Rhythm & Views

  • Rhythm & Views

    American Monoxide “In Flight Mode” (People In A Position To Know)
    • Dec 18, 2014
  • Rhythm & Views

    Wight Lhite “Beyond the Satellites” (Paisley Shirt Records)
    • Dec 11, 2014
  • More »

Most Commented On

  • Noise Annoys

    Tribulance writes in,gets ink
    • Feb 9, 2017
  • Noise Annoys

    Levine gets a girl and things are Golden
    • Feb 16, 2017
  • More »

Facebook Activity

© 2017 Tucson Weekly | 7225 Mona Lisa Rd. Ste. 125, Tucson AZ 85741 | (520) 797-4384 | Powered by Foundation