The Hillmans – New Artist of the Day

‘One part Hillbilly and one part punk’ we introduce you to The Hillmans as our New Artist of the Day.

Phony familial-link psycho grease-ball rockers The Hillmans tore apart Brighton’s Horse and Groom with the launch of their mini-album Barn Dance Music For Plumbers. November 17.

Sporting a Clarke Gable moustache and a swanky black Gretsch, Churchill Caesar Hillman, or plain old Clive to his nearest and dearest, rocks a mean line in vocal exultations and canine pitched Wolf-man howls and vowels.

I’m guessing long time dead Lupine proto-type Lon Chaney Junior would’ve been envious.
The band plays fucked-up Psychobilly at the sloppier peripheries of the perpetually undead genre.

Think of the Cramps in the raw and at their basest, or of Boone County Hunch-Fuhrer Hasil Adkins on a rabid hot dog run, and you’re on to the scent of where these dirty curs are heading.

Somewhat senior, but far from long in the fang, The Hillmans have neatly avoided the staid musical finesse and po-faced seriousness that’s expected from song-writing maturity. Instead, they sound fresh from the garage: bathed in the carbon monoxide miasma of rock and roll at its most primal.

Squashed between the bogs and the bar, things got sweaty and lairy upfront at the as the Hillman’s set got more unhinged and hysterical. The usual psycho suspects among the crowd locked tattooed torsos and gave each other a good-natured pasting, spilling pints, tugging on cables and setting the amps teetering. As typical at such events, I donned my specs and hid behind my face furniture in case anyone thought I might want to join in. Fair play to them though, but it hurts way too much. Ouch.

The lads’ mini album is an excellent representation of what you get live, a no frills and humour-abundant/revved-up rockabilly which gets shat from a faulty carburettor that’s ‘one part Hillbilly and one part Punk.’

Stand out tracks include ‘Hornet’, where Caesar’s vocals swiftly dive to a Bullfrog baritone and ‘Dog Man’ where his hassled hollers and straining yelps puts you in mind of how the King may have sounded during his final dump on his death-khazi.

Top stuff.

All words by Luke Randall. You can read more from Luke on LTW here.

Image by Patrick Hennessy.

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