Smart, Edgy Swamp Rock and Country Blues from Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs
Holly Golightly & the Brokeoffs – that’s retro rock icon Holly Golightly and Lawyer Dave – careen through the same swampy, loosely wired, punked-out country blues muck as the Gun Club and Knoxville Girls. This primitive, sometimes feral, lo-fi stuff is great fun. Most of the songs on thei duo’s new album Sunday Run Me Over are originals, although they also do a surprisingly elegant, slightly noir-tinged version of the Davis Sisters’ 1953 country classic I’ve Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know About Him, along with an amusingly sarcastic cover of Hard to Be Humble, Mac Davis’ dubious attempt to write an outlaw country song. And the best song here is We Need a Whole Lot Less of Jesus and a Lot More Rock N Roll, an offhandedly savage reworking of the Ramey Family’s country gospel standard We Need a Whole Lot More Jesus. And as funny and vicious as it is – you see, they’re running out of cash up in heaven, which is why the church needs so much of it – the music is good too, with resonator guitar and fiddle adding to the rustic mix.
Several tracks, starting with the opening one, Goddamn Holy Roll, have a Mississippi hill country tinge, plus tasty, echoey slide guitar leads and exuberant guy/girl vocals. This particular one’s basically a one-chord jam, but they make it interesting. They Say takes a Fred McDowell style oldtime delta blues riff, stomps on it and rocks it out. Tank takes that hill country vibe and adds layers after tasty layer of guitar: lots of open-tuned slide work, and even a repeater-box track pulsing distantly in the mix. Likewise, they build Goodnight from a stripped-down, pissed-off, minor-key country waltz to a big anthem with layer after layer of swaying, clanging, ringing guitar lines.
Holly’s coy vocals take on a bit of an Amy Allison tinge on the country song Turn Around, while Hand in Hand blends Knoxville Girls-style swampy reverb rock with a slow Stonesy sway. They folow that with The Future’s Here, a surreal, absolutely spot-on early 50s-style hillbilly boogie with futuristic lyrics.The final track is the dirty, bluesy, JSBX-ish This Shit Is Gold; there’s also the lighthearted singalong One for the Road, an Irish-flavored drinking song with banjo. The album is out on Oct 9 from Transdreamer; the band is at Rock Shop tonight, Oct 6 at 10 for $10 and then at the big room at the Rockwood on the 8th at 9:30 for an extra two bucks.