Hillbilly Herald

"Sunday's Best"

by Noel Edge

What's the Bottom Line?

Good ass-kickin rock n roll!

Value

Paid $5 » Worth $5

Affiliation with KNEW GEN

None

Explicit?

Here & there, but what do you expect?

Genre and Mood

Pure upbeat rock n roll

Standout Tunes

"Sucker Punch", "Bad Boy Bruiser" and "Greedy"

Songwriting & Musicianship

Move over Buckcherry (and the rest), there's a new rock n roll sheriff in town...and his name is Hillbilly Herald!

First of all I'd like to give a big shout-out to the HH boys for makin this one of the easiest reviews I've done since I've been with Knew Gen.  [remember that this is an EP with only 5 tunes though]  For those of you who know me, I usually have to listen to an album numerous times to form an informed opinion.  And to let you in on a secret, how I calculate "value" above is simple: 1 good tune = $1.  So if an album has 13 songs on it and I like 10 of em and paid $10, I value the album at $10 even though there may be 3 throw-away tunes.  I've been kinda struggling for the last few days reviewing the another band's new album [some tunes stuck right away, some haven't], so I decided yesterday that it was time to switch gears and listen to something else [I'm late on getting to the HH EP review anyway].  After the first listen of "Sunday's Best" I was done with value - 5 good tunes = $5.  I've listened to the EP many times in the last 24 hours, just because it rocks.  [I left an Italian restaurant in New Jersey last night, got in the car with HH cranked and just kept on drivin - I turned back when I hit the Canadian border]  Enough commentary, let's get to it!

OK, I'll admit that I've watched an episode or two of "America's Got Talent" and I totally disagree.  But the Hillbillies have plenty!

Songwriting first.  Each tune put me in "bobble-head" mode - you know, when you look at the guy in the car next to you at the red light and he's kinda doin that cheesy head-bangin thing?  [that guy was me]  Lotsa catchy riffs and gang-vocal choruses that keep you rocking and singin along.  The tunes grab you outta the gate and grow on you like a fungus [but not one that you need medication for].  Not much more to say than listen to the EP yourself.  Hell, you spend $5 on a Starbucks coffee!

Musicianship?  Let's see...add one shot of:

  • a rock-solid rhythm section [I like the high-hat work in Sucker Punch - don't hear much of that kinda stuff lately];
  • kickass guitar solos [lotsa feel, good use of wah and some slide - check out the solos on Bad Boy Bruiser, Sucker Punch and Jump Back]; and
  • raspy, come-from-the-gut lead vocals.

What's the result?  I'll borrow a line from one of my favorite flicks - it's a rock n roll concoction that's "powerful enough to turn goat piss into gasoline."

Production

My introduction to HH was at Irving Plaza when they opened for Steel Panther earlier this year.  HH is one of those bands you need to see live to fully appreciate.  The EP brings captures that live sound.  It's not overproduced.  Crank it up and it's like HH is doin a 5 song set at your place, complete with the big rock n roll ending on Sucker Punch.

Nothing gets lost in the mix.  The guitars are grindy and the solos are well blended.  The bass is a big and rumbling constant.  The snare is crisp and the kick drum has a good thud to it (with enough skin click).  And the vocals neither dominate nor get lost in any of the tunes.

What Else You Should Know

Hillbilly Herald is headlining a gig at The Bowery Electric in NYC on July 9th.  If you live in the tri-state area, you're expected to be there!  [you won't be disappointed]

Contact Noel at noeledge@knewgeneration.com