13 Songs, 51 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jersey City’s Black Hollies wander through the history of rock ‘n’ roll with a love for its darkest, weirdest corners. “Unless It’s My Imagination” combines a Velvet Underground/“Sister Ray” rhythm and organ with Paisley Underground psychedelic shivers. The goofily titled “Benevolent Bacon” travels down the path of Mazzy Star but with a more demanding attitude that befits the band's Jersey roots. Chief songwriter Justin Angelo Morey shifted his songwriting approach for The Black Hollies' fourth album, which took three years to record under multiple conditions. The Spacemen 3–type slow drones enrich the turtle-like crawl of “Daydreams.” Keyboardist Joe Gonnelli provides an unlimited stream of vintage keyboard sounds to further place the music into a mid- to late-‘60s time warp, while the deliberately dirty production on the title track turns a beat-group “hey hey hey” romp into a song that sounds as if it'd been rescued from studio tapes lost in the vaults for decades. Not since the underrated U.K. ‘80s garage band The Prisoners has such a thick, powerful sound been reached in service to garage rock and its psychedelic counterparts. Excellent!

EDITORS’ NOTES

Jersey City’s Black Hollies wander through the history of rock ‘n’ roll with a love for its darkest, weirdest corners. “Unless It’s My Imagination” combines a Velvet Underground/“Sister Ray” rhythm and organ with Paisley Underground psychedelic shivers. The goofily titled “Benevolent Bacon” travels down the path of Mazzy Star but with a more demanding attitude that befits the band's Jersey roots. Chief songwriter Justin Angelo Morey shifted his songwriting approach for The Black Hollies' fourth album, which took three years to record under multiple conditions. The Spacemen 3–type slow drones enrich the turtle-like crawl of “Daydreams.” Keyboardist Joe Gonnelli provides an unlimited stream of vintage keyboard sounds to further place the music into a mid- to late-‘60s time warp, while the deliberately dirty production on the title track turns a beat-group “hey hey hey” romp into a song that sounds as if it'd been rescued from studio tapes lost in the vaults for decades. Not since the underrated U.K. ‘80s garage band The Prisoners has such a thick, powerful sound been reached in service to garage rock and its psychedelic counterparts. Excellent!

TITLE TIME
4:26
3:41
4:29
4:06
3:00
5:10
2:08
4:29
5:11
4:03
3:03
5:10
2:48

About The Black Hollies

New Jersey's Black Hollies emerged in 2005 with a mix of '60s-styled garage rock, psychedelia, and gritty soul. Initially formed as a side project by three members of the hard rock group Rye Coalition, the quartet signed with Brooklyn's Ernest Jennings Record Co. and officially debuted in 2006 with the self-produced Crimson Reflections. Bandmates Justin Angelo Morey (vocals, bass), Herb Wiley (guitar), Scott Bolasci (drums), and Jon Gonnelli (guitar) supported the release with a slew of live dates, during which they played alongside fellow garage rock revivalists the Fleshtones and began tailoring their clothing to reflect the songs' retro appeal. Bolasci left the band and was replaced by Nick Ferrante, and the Black Hollies returned to their '60s state of mind with 2008's Casting Shadows. One year later, they chose to record at an outside studio for the first time, resulting in the release of the atmospheric, organ-fueled Softly Towards the Light in early October. The band began its next record, but soon scrapped the sessions. Morey spent a couple years demoing songs and the group returned to the studio in 2012 with a plan to record 20 songs over the course of three weekends. Instead, the next year was spent with the bandmembers, but mostly Morey, adding and subtracting, doing and redoing all the parts until they had a sound they were happy with. Inspired less by garage rock and more by noise rock of the '70s (Can) and '90s (Spacemen 3), the band's fourth album, Somewhere Between Here and Nowhere, was released in late 2013. ~ Andrew Leahey

  • ORIGIN
    Jersey City, NJ
  • GENRE
    Rock
  • FORMED
    2005

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