BLACK HALOS, THE: The Violent Years: LP

Fuck me in new ways, get me blind by an undiagnosed STD, and paint a smiley face on my ass, this is a pleasant disease. What Turbonegro did with AC/DC and Kiss, The Black Halos are doing to Cheap Trick, plus some. Waaay-too-catchy songs. Sleeper holds of hooks, the type that show up in your dreams; huge. Super slithery. Perfect backup vocals. It’s rock, but it’s honed and precise and nimble, leaving the cliches stapled outside the studio along with any and all unnecessary guitar solos. I liked their first LP okey doke, but it never had that whisper of “play me because you can’t put me down.” This does. The lead vocals sound less strangulated and more whiskey and honey. Vicious and sweet. As a whole, they sound like a band leaving their influences just that; spring boards to lean rock’n’roll. A mean and tuneful animal. It’s been said that the world works in circles, that we all return to the beginning point. But the Black Halos further prove that the world – and its music – is a screw. It goes circular, but at an angle, and the harder you press, the deeper it gets. Be happy that the spirit of Chuck Berry ain’t dead. Remember, it probably wasn’t Reagan who made punk so great. It was disco (fill in techno or boy bands at your leisure), which we’re getting plenty of clogging up the airwaves.

 –todd (Sub Pop)