Hillstomp - Darker The Night
Oregon duo Hillstomp return with another muddy, irreverent gem, one that nevertheless shows a complete understanding of the true heart of American Music. "Darker The Night" showcases many sides of Henry Christian and John Johnson (& their assorted aliases), with no less than four banjo-driven workouts, a couple country tunes, and a few mutant but satisfying hybrids.
From the spare, distorted vocal and percussion of "Hammer Ring," to a cover of "You Got To Move," the old tune that every white blues band has taken a shot at, (this time featuring a sleazy harmonica that takes the place of the sleazy guitar of the Stones version) Hillstomp display impressive willingness to experiment with the styles they clearly revere.
In between are memorable entries like "Jump On the Line," a swampy rock tune mixed w/ some trance blues, the greasy shuffle of "Cardiac Arrest in D," and "Up There," a gritty blues with a nice, slow buildup to roaring, biting guitar. But the real highlights are the country crawling "Crawdad Hole," and "S.I.R.," a murky punky shuffle that lethally borrows from bluegrass time signatures.
Hillstomp, at this stage in their career, can do no wrong. "Darker The Night" is transitional without being hoary, and experimental without being disrespectful. In all this is a great set with no weaknesses and a ton of heart.
User Reviews and CommentsLog In or Register to Rate Albums
Tell us why this album is great or sucks ass, or correct the reviewer. If you write enough quality reviews you may find yourself on the editorial staff.
Reviews have to be over 100 words, shorter ones are classed as comments.