HOLLIS BROWN RECREATES THE ROLLING STONES' SEMINAL FIRST ORIGINAL ALBUM 'IN THE AFTERMATH'
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Hollis Brown’s new album, ‘In The Aftermath,’ is the deliciously depraved outcome of an all-night rock n’ roll riot. The Queens, New York-based quintet escaped to the Poconos to record with a few handles of whiskey, and, in one 24-hour session, ran down the Stones’ seminal first album of all originals, 1966’s ‘Aftermath.’ Tracked live in the studio with minimal overdubs, ‘In The Aftermath’ is potent proof the five-piece group is one of the great American rock n’ roll bands.
“It was a whirlwind recording session—we were on no sleep, and getting liquored up. You can definitely hear the looseness on that final track, ‘Going Home,’” singer-guitarist Mike Montali recalls, laughing. He continues: “We weren’t focused on cleanliness—we were after a feeling.”
Previously, Hollis Brown issued, ‘Gets Loaded,’ saluting Velvet Underground’s ‘Loaded.’ The five-piece band enjoyed doing the VU album so much they began to joke about doing a “Hollis Brown presents…” series, covering formative records in their artistic continuum. ‘Aftermath’ became the Stones album to dive into for a myriad of reasons. For one, it’s become something of a lost classic as it’s the first album to contain all Stones originals, including the defining track, “Paint It Black.” Also, many of the songs are concise ultra-catchy rock n’ roll rave-ups that mine similar blues and country roots to Hollis Brown’s own signature aesthetic.
Yet, on ‘In The Aftermath,’ Hollis Brown doesn’t try to out-Stones the Stones. Instead, they find clever ways to salute the Stones legacy. For the first album single, “Under My Thumb,” they distill the track down to a punky snarl inspired by the lean and mean ‘Some Girls’ album. Hollis Brown turn in a faithful reading of “Dontcha Bother Me” replete with Muddy Waters-approved slide guitar, seething vocals, and lonesome harmonica. The guys bravely tackle “Paint It Black,” and harness the ominous power of the track through swapping its classic, world-music perspective for a muscular guitar-rock approach. Here, the drums are essentialized down to an infectious garage-rock beat that perfectly aligns with the burly guitar riffage.
“Making this record sent us back to the drawing board,” Mike reveals. “It was about going back to the essence of American roots music—blues and country—which is a tradition our band was founded upon.”