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Fire At Will

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Album Review

Unlike the many garage rock revivalists who seem content to follow in the footsteps of their forebears (but with less energy and creativity), on their debut album, Fire at Will, the Bloody Hollies burn with a crazed intensity that ignites each track. "Give it all you got!" Wesley Doyle screams on "Penetrate," and it could be the motto for the entire album. Songs like "Downtown Revolver" and "Swing" — a rockabilly-tinged, chair-kicking song about "just hangin' around" — get right to the point with an energy that borders on apocalyptic. Along with their other Sympathy for the Record Industry compatriots and alumni, the Bloody Hollies are experts at making stripped-down and basic sound vital and exciting. Their take on garage rock is amped up with the relentlessness of punk and tempered with keen pop structures, especially on "Hard-Bitten" and "Yeah Yeah." In fact, the first half of Fire at Will is a nearly flawless display of the Bloody Hollies' powers; on the second half, they tweak the formula slightly, with varied results. "Tired of This S**t" captures the young, loud, and snotty vibe of classic punk perfectly, while the bluesier, slow-burning "I Need Love" is probably the closest the band will ever come to a ballad. Songs like these prove that the band doesn't always have to be on fire to be good, but two-and-a-half-minute outbursts like "Strip," "Blood Pressure," and "Emergency Shutdown" are where they really excel. By the time the snarly instrumental "Dogfight" finishes off the album, the Bloody Hollies have taken their listeners through a consistently exciting debut that's a blast of instant-gratification fun.


Formed: Buffalo, NY

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Buffalo, New York's fiery rock trio the Bloody Hollies mix punk, garage rock, rockabilly, and surf into a combustive and compulsively listenable sound of their own. Singer/guitarist Wesley Doyle, drummer Mike Argento, and bassist Nick, all former art school students, started the band in 2000 as a response to all of the mopey music that was passing for rock at the time. By 2002, they had been gigging locally for some time, released their debut album, Got It Where It Counts!, on Garage Pop Records,...
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Fire At Will, The Bloody Hollies
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