Alexis Dartiguelongue (guitar/vocals) and Maxime Conan (drums/vocals) are Blackbird Hill, a duo from Bordeaux, France with a love of Delta blues, Americana and good old rock'n'roll. The pair blend these elements together in a heady mix on their new release "Midday Moonlight" that although at times sits a little left of Desert Psychlist's usual remit of stoner/doom & psych nonetheless has a sound that the Psychlist believes is worthy of your attention.
"Trigger Law" kicks things off and dives headfirst into the blues with an initial burst of heavily fuzzed guitar and thunderous percussion that then makes way for a slower laid back country blues groove that sees Conan's tubthumping percussion supporting Dartiguelongue's clean, clear vocal and gently picked guitar, slowly building, via a section of old school rock'n'roll with the guitarist/vocalist tailoring his tones accordingly, into a massive heavy blues finale.
"Horseback Sight" sees Blackbird Hill laying out on a slow wistful blues fractured by moments of heavy riffage that sees Dartiguelongue delivering emotive vocals over a mixture of sparse and heavy guitar colouring around a backdrop of sympathetic and tight drum work.
"Run Like Mad" jams a skiffle-like groove over which Conan and Dartiguelongue sing clean but gritty harmonies, the upbeat tempo pushed by Conan's insistant percussion recalling the crepe shoed refrains of defunct New York rockers The Stray Cats.
"Stories From The Road" finds Blackbird Hill delving into Americana territory and sees Dartiguelongue delivering beautifully clear and clean vocals over gently picked arpeggios, superbly backed up by Conan's shimmering percussion and occasional vocal harmonies.
"Hold Your Fire" has Blackbird Hill cranking up the fuzz and diving headlong into a more stonerized blues groove, albeit more blues than stoner.
Title track "Midday Moonlight" jams a heavier Zeppelin-esque groove with Dartiguelongue's vocals taking on a harsher,grittier tone beneath which he delivers thick distorted chords of fuzz drenched guitar enhanced by fiery licks and fills pushed hard by Conan's thunderous and precise drumming.
Blackbird Hill's "Midday Moonlight" is at it's core a blues album but a blues album informed by a variety of differing influences and genres and is an album that, whether your a stoner, a doomer or a metalhead, should be enjoyed for what it is ...damn fine music.
Check it out .....
© 2017 Frazer Jones