The Bloody Hollies

Yours Until the Bitter End

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Four years on from 2007's Who to Trust, Who to Kill, Who to Love, the Bloody Hollies have gone through some stylistic changes; where their first few albums were raw and reckless garage punk, the band has found several new ways to kick your butt and make you thank them for it on their fourth full-length, Yours Until the Bitter End. This time out, the Bloody Hollies are more of a straight-ahead hard rock band than a bunch of punk miscreants, and the songs show a greater melodic sophistication, with touches of blues, metal, and glam shining through, as well as keyboards, xylophone, and fiddle adding new colors to the arrangements. However, if they gave the car a new paint job and a fresh coat of wax, they didn't change the big block engine that drives the whole thing, and Yours Until the Bitter End still hits with the impact of a cannon; guitarists Wesley Doyle and Joey Horgen's guitars lock in and lay out fire with precision and fury, and bassist Erik Norgaard and drummer Matt Bennett explode like a handful of M-80s but still hit all the right spots along the way. The production is a shade more glossy on Yours Until the Bitter End than the band's previous records (Horgen produced the sessions while Jim Diamond mixed the tracks), which suits the more evolved approach of these tunes, but all this just means that the details are clearer while they roar loud and proud through your sound system, and that works just fine with this music. A lot of punk bands lose the plot or sap their strength when they decide to add some extra bells and whistles to their sound, but the Bloody Hollies have managed to add a fair amount without losing a thing, and Yours Until the Bitter End is a dial-it-up-to-ten triumph.

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