The Hillbilly Moon Explosion support by Cherry Red 53
02, Fri Oct 2020
Rocknrollas , Rocknrollas Paisley
‘With Monsters and Gods’ is The Hillbilly Moon Explosion’s new album release and is certainly their best. Who knew that rock’n’roll could still be so exhilarating … and musically diverse?
The Hillbilly Moon Explosion are a half-English 4-piece. Hidden away in the unlikely habitat of Switzerland, they’ve honed their craft without distraction for many years. Searching for the right sound they’ve previously recorded in San Diego, Camden and Tooting, but for this album they went back to the local studio where they made their early rockabilly albums, allowing more time to get it spot on.
The line-up is chanteuse Emanuela Hutter, Oliver Baroni on vocals and stand-up bass, Duncan James on guitar and Sylvain Petite on drums; With Monsters and Gods is also embellished by Oliver’s latent piano skills. The esteemed Pete Thomas provided saxophone, he also played live with the band alongside Martin Winning on horns and Geraint Watkins on keyboards on their recent European tour.
With Monsters and Gods was produced by Oliver Baroni as the band wanted “to reflect the somewhat harder edge you get from the months on the road.” and the result “is a louder, more rock’n’roll album.” The album concerns itself with “making friends with your demons”. The title track deals with this and ‘deep love’, while the rest of the album warns what can happen if “you’re afraid of your demons and ignore them which might lead you to Depression and Desperation and constantly being Down on your Knees.”
Opening with psychedelia meets 50s sci-fi of In Space, the following 13 songs are an aural treat firmly rooted in established musical styles (rockabilly, r’n’b etc.). However, with Emanuela’s vocals you get “this weird distinctly non-American approach to singing” creating a unique sound.
With contributions including Spark Phillips of Demented Are Go and mariachi horns courtesy of Calexico, a song that makes you want to start throwing stuff around to and another reimagining Blondie recording in the 50’s, you have a very special album from a band that is not only at ease with themselves but one that’s at its full creative tilt and in the ascendant.
The band are quite an online and vinyl phenomenon, boosted by the My Love For Evermore single, a duet with Spark Phillips. Tattoos of My Love For Evermore have become a thing, with dozens of fans comparing photos on the band’s Facebook page. At least 40 cover-versions add to the 12 million of views of the song’s viral video on Youtube: https://youtu.be/2rlYPb2plaY?t=15s and the 7” vinyl sold out a remarkable eight pressings.
The only band to have played the Rebellion Punk Festival and the Camden Jazz Cafe in the same week, the Hillbilly Moon Explosion are much revered the world over and have toured Britain, France, Germany, Spain, Finland, Switzerland, The Netherlands, Belgium, Hungary, Croatia, Slovenia, Italy, Greece, Poland, Tunisia amongst others.