The Black Halos “How The Darkness Doubled”
There are some bands who remain a mystery to the masses but in their own genre and amongst their peers have a legendary status. In our humble opinion, The Black Halos are one of those bands. Indeed when you are thinking about albums that really epitomise the whole glam/punk ethic (glunk) then “The Violent Years” must be up there.
Any fears that the years may have dulled the Halo’s energy or passion are soon blown away by the rocking opening track “A History Of Violence” it sends an immediate message that the band are as fired up as ever. Tracks like “Uncommonwealth” and “Even Hell Is Looking Down” are pure kick ass rock n roll songs that are full of punk swagger and attitude.
However, whisper it quietly, there are also signs of how the band have ‘grown’ over the years. Thankfully that means that some of these tunes just show a level of song writing quality that maybe it isn’t easy for a group of young, snotty punks to match. We are particularly taken with the triplet of “Forget Me Knot”, “Better Days” and “You Can’t Take Back The Night”. These are songs where the band allow the melody to take central stage and not feel it has to be hidden behind the rough punk sound. Indeed “Forget Me Knot” now rivals “Last of the 1%ers” As our favourite ever Black Halos track! Indeed, you’ll struggle to find a better row of songs on any album released this year.
Guitarist Rich Jones has appeared in a number of our favourite band over the years. His involvement with the legendary Michael Monroe certainly seems relevant here. “Tenement Kids” and “My Friends Are Like Drugs” actually sound like how we’d imagine a current Hanoi Rocks to sound (given they’re one of our favorite bands that’s a big compliment). We even get a guest appearance by Mr Monroe on the excellent “Ready To Snap”.
Whilst this album is sprinkled with melody, there remains plenty of tunes that will appeal to old time punk n rollers (like us). Songs like “Frankie Comes Home” and “A Positive Note” are reminders of the tunes that would have soundtracked nights of excess and wild times in our youth.
Anyone who is pining for the days of great punk n roll bands like Hanoi Rocks and D’Generation will absolutely LOVE this album. They may have left it late in the year, but this is a serious contender for album of the year. It leaves us with two Christmas wishes:
- That we could see a UK tour by The Black Halos in 2023
- This album influences a whole new generation of punk n rollers who go on to form bands and release great music like this.