The Black Halos

Alive Without Control

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Vancouver's dirty white boys, the Black Halos, return after a four-year recording sabbatical with a reconstructed lineup (that now counts guitarist Adam Becvare and bassist Denyss McKnight) and what is arguably their strongest record, Alive Without Control. Although they've eased off of the punk influences a bit in favor of glam, frontman Billy Hopeless still gets paid to bow at the altar of the Dead Boys' Stiv Bators and Johnny Thunders. Worshipers of aggressive rock & roll will relish in Alive Without Control. The production of Jack Endino is as constant as it is scuzzy on nicotine-stained juggernauts like "Last Call at the Toothless Saloon" and "Broken." The latter is one of several tunes that enforce Hopeless' aforementioned influences, and if the Halos show poor judgment in covers, mauling Tom Petty's "I Need to Know," the band does succeed when it changes gears, making the heartfelt ballad "Mirrorman" a pleasant diversion among the sneering chaos.

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