Rock 'N' Roll Inferno

Francis Jones discovers a band with fire in their belly

The Hellfire Club
EP 1

This is raspy, attitude driven rock and roll. This is the infernal fever of The Hellfire Club. For such a fledgling band this EP is a fantastically impressive release, combining Backwoods Blues and raucous Rock and Roll to create a brilliantly unwholesome, down and dirty cacophony.

Sounding like the sleazoid sermon of some waylaid, deviant preacher man, ‘Dead Man’s Funk’ is a song of compelling grotesquery. ‘Red Rum’ is a searing Led Zeppelin meets Robert Johnson pastiche right down to the reference to meeting the 'killer at the crossroads'. The Hellfire Club have surely made some sort of Faustian pact to be producing a debut release as good as this.

This particular mesh of Mississippi blues and rock bombast seems particularly of the moment, of course there is the mighty White Stripes, but also more recent outfits such as The Deltaheads and Archie Bronson Outfit. And The Hellfire Club are certainly every bit as good as those two newcomers.

Just listen to the feral yelp and hard-riffing boogie-woogie freak-out of ‘Lily-Jean Lonely’; it is an insanely enjoyable maelstrom. Best however, is the closing ‘Polanski ‘62’, it strikes a more reserved pose than the preceding three tracks, building layer upon layer of discordant noise into an alt-rock reverie, the vocal recalling Jim Morrison circa ‘L.A. Woman’ and the guitars endlessly inventive and interesting. On this evidence the Devil really has got the best tunes.