In the last six month’s I’ve had the honour of reviewing three bands who have left me in no doubt as to just how alive and kicking the heavy rock scene really is, and just how exciting the new bands are that are coming through. Wenches, Hippie Death Cult, and Mountain Tamer have all appeared, and given the scene a massive, much needed, kick up the ass.
Of them three, the most recent to me was Hippie Death Cult, so to see that their newly announced touring buddies, Holy Death Trio, are just releasing their debut full length album, had me super excited at what I was going to experience for my review. I wasn’t disappointed at all, in fact, I was rewarded with a massive juggernaut of a debut. Infectious, heavy, dirty, and with just the right amount of sleaze. To clarify, by ‘the right amount’, I mean absolute bucket loads.
Formed in 2016, in Austin, Texas, the trio is made up of three extremely talented individuals indeed. John P Rosales taking on guitar and vocal duties, while Jonathan Gibson and Trey Alfaro demand your attention with their phenomenal back line wizardry.
In the high energy heavy rock mix, can be found elements of Black Sabbath and Jimi Hendrix, among other classic tones. The real beauty of Holy Death Trio though, is they take these iconic sounds, mix it all up with some twenty first century sleazy good time Holy Death Trio magic, and what comes out is something that is impossible to resist.
Right from the opening salvo of Introducing to album closer Witchdoctor, Holy Death Trio make it sound absolutely effortless, and the vibrant play during guitar breaks is something I’ve not heard in an incredibly long time. In fact, the era of real guitar solos, exciting and inspired, until this album, I thought was a thing of the past.
To swiftly run through the album, and to keep it as exciting and urgent as I can, like the music itself, I will refrain from breaking the album down in to tracks too much.
Yep, there’s a couple of intro tracks, and you know they’re intro tracks, as it’s really obvious, because they literally say ‘intro’ in the titles. I would like to say, at this point, the way the album rolls in, and out, is absolutely inspired. Starting with obvious footsteps into a room, and the firing up of the instruments, to the laying down of the instruments, and departing, is so clever. They literally come in, play some bad ass tunes, and leave, no fucking around.
If you have a pulse, and you love upbeat rock and roll, infectious, heavy, and mind-numbing, then Holy Death Trio’s Introducing… is the album for you…
As the first musical escape chugs its way in, the lead track for the album, White Betty, it’s obviously instantly that no prisoners are being taken. Just as Ram Jam in the nineteen seventies created the iconic Black Betty, Holy Death Trio have literally turned up five decades later and produced its very equal. Instantly classic, phenomenally catchy, White Betty is guaranteed to get any party started, and will equally be just as hard to beat.
This is the benchmark, the bars been set, Holy Death Trio are here to blow your speakers and your mind. White Betty is a chugging monster. A good time, fast paced slab of rock and roll. Heavy, dirty, and epically raucous. It’s a scuzzy head banging behemoth and has become an instant classic in my household. PLAY EXTREMELY LOUD!!
Bad Vibrations only solidifies on what’s come before, and for the remainder of the album it becomes pretty obvious just where HDT are taking us. It’s fun time rock and roll, and is absolutely mesmerising. Each part is played sublimely, with balls to the wall energy. Get Down shows a little deviation, and a touch of the funky Jimi Hendrix mystique finds its way into the mix. Rocky, rolly, funky, it’s definitely party time.
The Killer is the final nail in the coffin, I frikkin’ love this band. With funky guitar, and the bass and drum accompaniment pushing those levels up to eleven, I can’t help but smile. As a side note, keep your ears peeled for some mind shredding guitar work throughout this piece. Fishsticks capitalises on that Sabbath vibe, and by the time Witchdoctor rolls in, it’s obvious another play through is needed.
What can I say? I’m left completely blown away; I didn’t even realise just how much I needed this album!! All that’s left to say is this…. If you have a pulse, and you love upbeat rock and roll, infectious, heavy, and mind-numbing, then Holy Death Trio‘s Introducing… is the album for you…
What are you waiting for? Go get it….now!!
Scribed by: Lee Beamish