Evan Johns & His H-Bombs

Love Is Murder

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Artists such as The Reverend Horton Heat and Flat Duo Jets-not to mention still-vital pioneers like Ronnie Dawson and Hasil Adkins-kept the psychobilly tradition alive through the '90s. But it only took this 1997 release by Evan Johns and His H-Bombs to remind folks that this Virginia-to-Texas guitarist and his red-hot sidemen are one of the genre's all-time great bands.

LOVE IS MURDER, Johns' first album in over six years, finds him at his best, tearing off one powerful rockabilly-surf-punk scorcher after another and making it all look as easy as Jerry Lee Lewis flying off his piano bench. As always, Johns' songs are fantastic, with the opening "If I Had My Way" and the surprisingly tender "Moonlight Cryin'" standing out. But it's the wild rave-ups like "Bar-B-Cutie" and Moonshine Runner" that show why the H-Bombs are one of rock & roll's most aptly named bands.

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