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THE HELLFIRE CLUB —SONGS FOR FALLEN STARS (Strength In Numbers)

 

https://the-hellfire-club.bandcamp.com

 

Originally founded in the 1990s, Glasgow-based Americana act The Hellfire Club utilise a number of influences and styles of music, as they vie from electric guitar, fiddle and organ (Kenny Irvine) fuelled, with some Steve Earle-like flavours tossed in the mix on “All Because Of You” (hints of Copperhead Road?) with rock, country rock warmed “Cal”. It is a wonderful strong sound; and with lead vocals backed by fiddle and swirling rhythm you can’t help but think The Band. The good thing is this band, that started out playing older styled country music spiced with an edge of their own The Hellfire Club are capable to make a furrow, create an imprint of their own to run parallel with it. The subjects, likewise are varied, and in the mandolin (Rab Armour), fiddle and banjo added array of instrumentation “Private Campbell” not only is a thoughtful reflective ode but the music lends added passion to the lyrics. Wonderful production it is too. Squeezed in between it and the following cut, good time uptempo “Hint Of A Wink” you have 14 seconds of fiddle work (Nick Ronan). Nice idea, there is an argument it could have lasted longer?

 

As for “Hint Of A Wink” it bounces along sprightly, Pogues-like some might say, but without Shane’s (McGowan) jolting vocals. The song entitled “The Hellfire Club” has a foreboding edge, dark and dangerous as it speaks of how deep within the city streets he waits till the darkness falls to make his move, and with strong harmony vocals, electric lead guitar and swirling rhythm the icing is neatly placed on the cake.

 

Shuffling, melancholy fashion “Absent Friends” is a barroom styled composition that comes complete with hearty sing-a-long chorus, more fiddle and piano, electric guitar and percussion. Something of an old-fashioned country weeper! Bursting out the blocks comes “Dali’s Clock” as electric guitar and hurried tempo decorate this infectious ode. “Montgomery” at over six minutes has an eerie feel as the boys speak of going down to Montgomery, Memphis, Texas, a man who lost his mind, was given pills to cure him and then goes to Birmingham to find some common ground. Nice rambling piece that has a lot going on within the song without becoming cluttered, which does happen on “The Hellfire Club”. Here you have one of those tunes that can take on a force of their own, and refuses to quit. The Hellfire Club are unlikely to ever make the big time, but if they are ever in your area go check them out, meanwhile you always have the album.  

 

                        Maurice Hope   

Views: 105

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December 2018
1
Malford Milligan
75 pts.
Life Will Humble You
Royal Family Records
JF,FB
2
JD McPherson
61 pts.
Socks
New West Records
CVL,DHO,MVP,MB
3
Rosanne Cash
50 pts.
She Remembers Everything
Blue Note Records
WR,BP,JSM,HB
4
Ad Vanderveen
45 pts.
I Was Hank William
Blue Rose Records
TK,LM,BM,JB
5
John Hiatt
44 pts.
The Eclipse Sessions
New West
FC
6
The Yearlings
41 pts.
Skywriting
Lonely Sounds Records
EZ
7
Tip Jar
40 pts.
Onward
Independent
FS
8
Nathan Bell
39 pts.
Loves Bones & Stars
Angry Stick Recording Co.
RB,SZ,PG
9
The Brother Brothers
38 pts.
Some People I Know
Compass Records
BK
10
Richard Dobson
30 pts.
I Hear Singing
Brambus Records
JS,NC
11
Steve Forbert
29 pts.
The Magic Tree
Blue Rose Music
PR
12
J.P. Harris
28 pts.
Sometimes Dogs Bark At Nothing
Free Dirt Records
TJ
13
The Bottle Rockets
24 pts.
Bit Logic
Bloodshot Records
GS,PKO
14
Rodney Crowell
23 pts.
Christmas Everywhere
New West
 
15
Christian Kjellvander
22 pts.
Wild Hxmans
Tapete
 
16
Erin Costelo
21 pts.
Sweet Marie
Compass Records
PJ
17
Colter Wall
20 pts.
Songs of the Plains
Young Mary's Record
 
18
The Hillbenders
19 pts.
The Hillbenders
Compass Records
FH
19
Eric Bibb
18 pts.
Global Griot
Stony Plain
 
 
Karine Polwart
18 pts.
Laws of Motion
Hudson Records
HH,KG
21
Carson McHone
17 pts.
Carousel
Nine Mile Records
 
 
Malcolm Holcombe
17 pts.
Come Hell Or High Water
Gypsy Eyes Music
MF
23
Ben Bedford
16 pts.
The Hermit's Spyglass
Cavalier Recordings
SP
 
Craig Moreau
16 pts.
A Different Kind Of Train
Independent
MP
 
David Olney
16 pts.
This Side Or The Other
Black Hen Music

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