BLOODY HOLLIES, THE: If Footmen Tire You…: CD

They may be from Buffalo, New York, but The Bloody Hollies play revved up, southern blues infected punk. And it absolutely floors me. The first track, “Watch Your Head,” opens with a few short chord bursts before drummer, Michael Argento, fires off three drum rolls with Gatling gun ferocity and the fiery gates of Hell open up. The conflagration continues to rage through “We’re So Anxious” and “Burning Heart,” on which singer/guitarist Wesley Doyle’s slide guitar calls to mind a deal with the devil at a crossroads. Doyle wails and screams his vocals with dark, religious fervor, delivering lyrical gems like “You’re better off just to stay at home/You’re better off just to be alone/Murder on the rise/Livin’ those lies/Then it hits you right between the eyes” on the album’s stellar track, “Right Between the Eyes.” A sinister, hypnotic undercurrent winds its way just beneath the surface of these songs, making it one of the most cohesive, affecting albums of the year. A must have.

 –benke (Alive)