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Music Review: Hellbilly Boys – Hellbilly Boys

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One click that is all it takes to discover the wild rockabilly world of the Hellbilly Boys. On their MySpace page they describe their style as, ‘REAL music by REAL people that is played on REAL instruments.’

This tends to be confirmed by a quick examination of the photographs. This is a band with more tattoos than Miami Ink and they play, ‘good old foot stomping, high gain Hellbilly music’.

The Hellbilly Boys are guitar picking Larry, double bass player Backis, lead guitarist Inge, and drummer Skidi. Their motto? ‘Hellbilly born, Hellbilly bred, when we die, we’ll be Hellbilly dead’. I’m not arguing boys honestly.

One slight potential problem to this “Tennessee Whisky” ethos is that they’re from Sweden. Correct me if I’m wrong but surely that’s not a country renowned for rocking chairs on the porch and wild whiskey drenched rockabilly boys, is it?

Put their self titled Hellbilly Boys debut CD on and in no time at all, you couldn’t give a damn where they’re from. They play hard, they play fast, and they play with a sense of the authentic and infectiously crazed. They will have you swigging bourbon and donning your best biker gear before riding off on your moped before you know it.

Opening with “Backseat Education”, you know precisely where this CD is going. These are guys that you really wouldn’t want to start flicking food at you in a diner. You really wouldn’t mess with their bikes stacked outside, and you certainly wouldn’t touch their instruments. No doubt back in Sweden they fill their spare time hunting bears or melting snow with their breath.

“Honky Tonk Train” is exactly how the title sounds complete with bourbon soaked vocals. The standout “Me & The Devil” is the band in full-on fireside story telling mode. To these guys Hank Williams must be God. “Understand” revs it up with a pure rockabilly, country, stomp. Beer swilling yet?

“Tennessee Whiskey”, and “Crazy Groove” maintain the tempo. By now you are a world apart from whatever you are in day to day life. It matters not if you are a librarian from dear old Torquay you would still be sprouting stubble, and morphing into a whiskey sodden fighting machine.

“Hellbilly Heaven”, “Wasted Years”, and “Tuesday Night” all lead us remorselessly towards “Southern Women”. As infectious as anything on the album it is a great example of the song writing talents of these guys. In fact, all twelve tracks are self written.

The authenticity is stunningly effective. They write foot stomping yee-har, without doubt. “Dead Punk Boogie” is a worrying tale for anyone still reckless enough to cause trouble at a rockabilly do. The album ends with the superb guitar of “Down The Road”.

The Hellbilly Boys have proved that it is respect, understanding, craziness, and desire that counteracts any perceived lack of birthright to make music like this. If you disagree, then I’ll let you tell them!

This ticks all those little boxes made in their earlier claims. Your floorboards are weakened by the stomping, your whiskey bottle lies empty on the ground, you are now in the sweat drenched world of the Hellbilly.

Once again Papa Bear of Killer Cobra Records has come up trumps. Mind you, playing cards with this lot would probably be a bad idea too.

Go Hellbilly at their MySpace profile or on their official website.

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About Jeff Perkins