Canadian punk-n-roll band The Black Halos are back with a new album, How The Darkness Doubled, twenty three years after their first.
Think back to 2001 when the iconic underground record label Sub Pop released The Violent Years, The Black Halos’ second album. It was a big success for the Vancouver band, riding hot on the heels of their self-titled debut from a couple years before. There were a series of line-up changes after that, and the band came together and drifted apart several times over the years. They did release several more records, EPs, and compilations. How The Darkness Doubled is their fifth studio long-player. Original songwriters Billy Hopeless, Rich Jones, and Jay Millette, have reunited now and are joined by new members John Kerns and Danni Action.
The record begins with “A History of Violence,” a peppy snarler. The vocals are a combination of melodic and a bit of a growl, and the catchy music features unforgettable singalong lines that will have the crowds at live shows joining in. “Tenement Kids” follows with a slight downshift in tempo and an upshift in attitude. Different still, “Uncommonwealth” brings an insistent urgency in the delivery. With these opening songs, and all of them, truly, the guitars are the driving force, and the vocals are what make the music stick in your head.
There are a dozen songs on the new record, each one its own individual implementation of the band’s unique, appealing style. Stand out tracks include “Better Days” – see the video for a feel of the band in action in 2022, and “A Positive Note,” the closer and one of my personal favorites of the set. I am glad to hear new music from The Black Halos, and I hope this album is a sign of more to come. Recommended.
How The Darkness Doubled is out now. You can get the digital at Bandcamp – the vinyl might be sold out by now. Follow the links below to find out.
Band photo by Michael Crusty.
Stomp Records, https://stomprecords.com/shop/how-the-darkness-doubled/
© Wayne Edwards