WRITE YOUR OWN REVIEW
Angry Johnny & the boys from Massachusetts bring
an amazing addition to your musical library here. Filled with emotion
from beginning to end, ‘Puttin the Voodoo’ is uniquely entertaining.
I believe this release truly is in a class of its own. The guys call it
“American Bloodgrass”. A little bit of country, a little rock,
some bluegrass, a bit of folk, & a lot of old-school is what it’s
composed of. Even though most of the album has a melancholy tone, it truly
takes you from one extreme to the other. “Jerry Lynn” almost
jerked a tear, while “Waltzing on Air” had me laughing the
whole way through. The songs tell a tale of headache & heartbreak,
but I just can’t quit listening to the damn thing. Maybe it’s
the mandolin/doghouse combination. The outcome is a very original style
of its own. Those of you that don’t mind a little country with you
rock, go pick this one up so you can share my enthusiasm!
"Sly’s Reviews and Interviews" www.psychobillydeluxe.com
Taking the ethos of psychobilly to the extreme, Angry Johnny and his three
backwoods ramblers make sleazy, Ritalin-fed country that twitches with
a psychosomatic spurn. The scorching opener on their third album, Puttin'
the Voodoo on Monroe, reels with the hot hate of a spurned lover drunk
on revenge, interpreting that death-by-booze-and-mayhem attitude into
lyrical aggression spit over blistering Mariachi horns. And when Johnny
caterwauls, "I choose the gun instead of the Bible," you'd better
-KJ "INDY WEEK.com"
Thursday, November 25, 2004
Daily Hampshire Gazette
Halloween, not Thanksgiving, is the holiday when we should be celebrating
Angry Johnny. His tales of murder and love gone very wrong will scare
you out of your wits, because the stories are so real. Angry Johnny does
not play at despair and evil, he follows it all the way down with an unflinching
The black humor in songs like "Lucky Day" ("It was not
his lucky day") will have you chuckling until the end when the protagonist
dies a grisly death outside the gas station he was trying to rob. "He
came to rest in a bloody mess, up against the Coke machine."
On his unrelentingly excellent and dark new album, banjos pluck, guitars
strum and quiver while the anti-heroes of these songs get in deep trouble.
Angry Johnny sounds like he could be Fred Eaglesmith's dangerous brother.
He writes with Eagelsmith's feel for details of a down-and-out life.
"Jerry Lynn" is a bruised, pulp novel of a song about another
desperate soul who leaves his girl crying at the bar as he goes off toe
move some car full of cocaine and stolen guns on the Chesterfield highway.
Characters with names like Shelburne Montgomery reference places in western
Massachusetts and on his Web site "("getangry.com") Angry
Johnny describes his band as "Connecticut river Valley boys from
right around Killville, MA."
The Church of the Angry Mind
By Shawn Stone
Metroland ONLINE "The Alternative Newsweekly Of New York's Capital
Angry Johnny and the Killbillies, City Limits, Michael Eck with Jackinany,
Valentine's, April 5
It was another evening of Brand New Country at Ye Old Valentine's. You
could tell right away, because the "Brand New Country" banner-bearing
the silhouette of a fellow who looks an awful lot like Abe Lincoln but
is probably some musical icon I should recognize and don't-was hanging
up at the back of the downstairs stage.
This informal series, organized by Jeff Burger, emcee of WRPI-FM's Sunday
Morning Coming Down, brings together musicians whose work falls somewhere
on the country & western continuum. Last time around, the lineup included
the sweet-sounding alt-country of Coal Palace Kings and the gospel-influenced
songcraft of Hayseed. This night, with Angry Johnny and the Killbillies
on the bill, the mood was noticeably darker.
Angry Johnny and the aforementioned Killbillies are from Easthampton,
Mass., a town they lovingly call "Killville." Killville, we
are made to understand, is a world away from what the tourist bureau likes
to call the "cultural Berkshires," or the comfortable college
confines of nearby Amherst or Northampton-all the songs are about Killville's
residents and their lovin' and sinnin' and dyin'.
It's a place where the lonely, treacherously curvy state highway through
town claims the lost and doomed ("202," which bore a passing
resemblance to Love's "Between Clark and Hillsdale"); where
a simple grocery-store holdup ends in an orgy of blood and betrayal ("Frank");
where if a girl is well-known enough to be enshrined in song, she's too
evil to live ("Jezebel").
Angry Johnny's voice was angry indeed: rough-hewn and thick with the weight
of sin. Like a black-hatted preacher whose intimate knowledge of sin was
earned through personal experience, Johnny's between-song patter was loaded
with gloomy references to the almighty.
The band sounded angry. Whether ripping through apocalyptic tales of death
or zipping through lighter, punkabilly numbers ("Disposable Boy,"
"Funny Thing About Heroes"), the Killbillies didn't hold back.
Their arrangements were novel, too: Who ever heard of playing electric-guitar
leads on a mandolin, and making it not only credible but exciting?