Saturday, November 30, 2013

Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs: “All Her Fault” (2014) CD Review

It’s a treat whenever a new Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs CD arrives. I always set aside everything else, ignore the phone, open a beer, and turn the stereo up. Because I want them to take over completely. I just surrender to whatever it is they’re putting out there, and I haven’t been disappointed yet. Their newest album, All Her Fault, is everything I’ve come to expect, and then some. There are moments when I’m laughing and cheering (yes, honestly), other moments when I’m singing along to a song I’d never heard before. Is this their best album? I don’t know. It might be. But I’ve felt that way about the last two releases (No Help Coming and Sunday Run Me Over) also, so who knows? It really doesn’t matter. Everything they do is excellent, with a great fun, raw edge and sense of humor. The world is a better and more interesting place for this band being in it.

All Her Fault opens with “SLC.” This song made me burst out laughing the first time I heard it, asking as it does right at the start why someone would want to go into Salt Lake City. They then sing, “Don’t get your hopes up in Salt Lake City/Because you ain’t gonna have a good time.” Then: “Why you want go into Salt Lake City/Where you can’t get fucked up, can’t get shitty?” I love the kick-ass, fun, raw power and delivery of the tune. Part of the joy in the song is the repetition, the insistence that you are not going to have a good time in that town. So why would you want to go there? It makes me feel foolish for even considering the trip. I absolutely love this song.

“For All That Ails You” has a cool, more laid back vibe. It’s like some twisted old dance hall band passed through a time machine run by a mad man with undead servants and showed up at your party. It sounds like that, you know? Very cool.  There will be no question, the answer we both know/When nothing can be done, and there’s no end in sight/The only thing to do is call it time/For all that ails you.”

“Pistol Pete” is a weird sort of waltz brought to you by gypsies, but with a country-western tale. It’s a delightful mix, done only the way Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs can. It opens, “They thought that they could break him, but he broke them all instead/And anyone who tried him wound up crippled, blind or dead.”  I love the piano on this track.

And then “Can’t Pretend” is some good roadhouse rock and roll with a sort of country rhythm on bass. It’s got a toe-tapping, beer mug-slapping kind of groove. There is more great piano work on the wonderful country rock tune “Bless Your Heart” which has the line “No, you ain’t country, bless your heart.”

The album’s only cover song is the great bluesy “Trouble In Mind,” written by Richard M. Jones. These guys do an excellent job with it. It’s kind of a perfect song for them. “But I won’t be blue always/Because that sun’s gonna shine in my back door someday.”

“The Best” has a sweet, simple and beautiful sound, which is juxtaposed with lines like “I am empty, I’m broken/That’s what you said” and “All you need I never can be/I just don’t care enough.”  Her vocals sound absolutely beautiful, as she sings, “When you need me most of all, that’s when I won’t be there.” On an album full of strong material, this is one of my favorites.

“Don’t Shed Your Light” is a bizarre and wonderful sort of anti-gospel gospel song with that great, slow approach, and the title line repeated often like in any good gospel folk tune.

On “No Business,” in her sweetest country voice Holly sings these wonderfully harsh lyrics: “Just you try and tell me/I’ll rip out your tongue/Won’t be whispering sweet nothing in my ear.” And then: “Just you try and touch me/I’ll chop off your hands.” The results are delicious and beautiful and fun. This is a gorgeous fuck-you of a song, and I love it.

CD Track List

  1. SLC
  2. For All That Ails You
  3. Pistol Pete
  4. Can’t Pretend
  5. Bless Your Heart
  6. Trouble In Mind
  7. The Best
  8. 1234
  9. Don’t Shed Your Light
  10. No Business
  11. Perfect Mess
  12. King Lee

All Her Fault is scheduled to be released on March 4, 2014 on Transdreamer Records. And here’s another bit of good news. Holly Golightly And The Brokeoffs are planning a tour to support the new album. I’m very excited about getting a chance to see these guys perform.

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