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“Scalped” Review in Uber Rock (UK) – ‘The Hellbilly Genre’

Phantom Of The Black Hills - hellbilly genre

As a sub-genre, the hellbilly genre seems to lie somewhere between bluegrass, country, NOLA-style doom and traditional rock ‘n’ roll. Most popularly brought to global attention by artists such as Hank Williams III, it is a musical style which can, at first, be difficult to understand and then digest. Take, for example, the reaction of her good self when she walked into the UR studio and first heard this particular opus blasting from our tower block sized speaker system: “what the fuck is that shit?” she demanded to know as I turned the mixer up another notch…

“That shit”, as herself so eloquently put it, is the fifth album from POTBH, a band who don’t believe in giving much away, from the bandanas across their faces in all their publicity photos to the paucity of information on both the press release which accompanied the CD and on their Facebook page: it doesn’t even say where they’re from – although the reference to “Black Hills” in their name should be a huge pointer… but, you never know and should never take anything for granted. For all we know, they are either a bunch of hicks from Nowhereville in North Dakota, or a bunch of rich college grads from Hollywood playing at being the former – although, I must admit, I sincerely doubt it!

Whatever the case, POTBH have produced an album that veers from out and country to the lunatic fringe industrialism of Ministry: this is probably understandable, as the only piece of information the band proffer about themselves is that their music would be the result of “Glenn Danzig and Al Jourgensen stayed up all night listening to old Porter Wagoner and Hank Sr. records and drinking homemade corn liquor”. Maybe a bit OTT – but, hey, what band doesn’t overhype themselves – but you get the picture…

My problem with ‘Scalped’ is that there are two songs which absolutely kick ass heavier than a size 11 New Rock to your tailbone. The first is opener ‘Wild Witch Of The West’, which pumps and thumps like a moonshine-fuelled culchie; driven by a snarly snare and characterized by a punked-up banjo, and featuring a lascivious guest vocal from Mather Louth, it sets a mood that almost immediately dissipates. Yes, ‘Raised On Fire’ is a suitable slice of fiddle-fuelled arson, ‘Dr Dealer’ is a leather-clad metallic monster, and ‘Torchy’ is cute in its amalgamation of metal and country grooves – but the album then, from the loud but unfulfilling abrasiveness of ‘Blow It Up’ onwards, slowly peters out until the bonus track of ‘The Reckoning’ drags it kicking and screaming back to life, with its Nick Cave-like Gothicism, hard-ass thrashy guitar riff, snarly snare-led percussive drive and spoken vocal.

Phantom Of The Black Hills – ‘Scalped’ (Ratchet Blade Records/Cockroach Media) By Mark Ashby Read the full review HERE.

“Wild Witch of the West” Video is Live

The new Phantom of the Black Hills video for Wild Witch of the West is live, it is the first music video from the new Phantom of the Black Hills album Scalped, out 8/25/17 on Ratchet Blade Records. It was directed by Chopper Franklin and features Mather Louth from the Heathen Apostles. Wild Witch of the West is an unofficial sequel to the Heathen Apostles video for Fist City, and contains footage from that video shot by Harmony Gerber.

Check out the Pre Sale for Scalped by clicking HERE.

New POTBH Gothic Outlaws T Shirt Design

The Phantom of the Black Hills has released a new T Shirt design, it features an image of the notorious gothic outlaws playing from their upcoming Wild Witch of the West music video. Order now from the POTBH merch store and receive a free sticker and music download. Click HERE to check it out.

gothic outlaws

New “Scalped” Promo Trailer & Pre-Sale

Both the Scalped pre-sale and promo trailer have launched today, the trailer has snippets of some of the new songs and the pre-sale has two great deals, including a free album and early delivery of Scalped. You can check them out HERE.

Cover Art For Upcoming Album “Scalped” Is Released

The cover art for the upcoming Phantom of the Black Hills album Scalped has been released, it is the fifth album for the band and is produced by Chopper Franklin for Ratchet Blade Records. Scalped will be released on August 25th and will be proceeded by the release of the Wild Witch of the West single and music video on August 11th. Check back for more info on this incendiary album.

POTBH Scalped album cover 

Shooting Wrapped on “Wild Witch of the West” Video

Shooting has wrapped on the shooting of the new Phantom of the Black Hills Wild Witch of the West video, the first single off of the new album Scalped, out August 25th, 2017 on Ratchet Blade Records. The video was directed by Chopper Franklin and features Mather Louth of the Heathen Apostles (who also contributed vocals to the song), check back for the release date.

Wild Witch of the West video

Wild Witch of the West video

Mather Louth and Phantom of the Black Hills Collaboration

The Heathen Apostles’ Mather Louth is singing on the new Phantom of the Black Hills album Scalped, released online on Friday August 25th, 2017 on Ratchet Blade Records. She sings on Wild Witch of the West, the first single from the record and will also appear in the music video. The brick and mortar release date is Friday the 13th of October. Chopper Franklin is producing, check back for more details.

"POTBH

New POTBH Album Out In Summer 2017

A new Phantom of the Black Hills album will be released this summer on Ratchet Blade Records. The album, which is as-yet untitled, will be the band’s fifth and first since 2014’s Moonshine Bright. Check back for more info.

Gang photo crop edit 72

“Moonshine Bright” Reviewed On No Depression

Review of Moonshine Bright on No Depression, read it online HERE:

Moonshine_cover_final_sm“Phantom of the Black Hills, one of the outlaw music scene’s favorite bands of renegade pickers, stummers, pluckers and bangers, is back with a new album on Ratchet Blade Records, Moonshine Bright. Continuing to terrorize the musical wagon trail of the current roots revival with their sound of doom country, frontier-core, and hellbilly punk, Phantom of the Black Hills’ most recent collection of songs is as powerful and violent as the fiery blast of an old blunderbuss, with each deadly projectile hitting a different mark.

Throughout Moonshine Bright, Phantom of the Black Hills lays down some mean distorted chords, plenty of pickin’ and strummin’, hillbilly fiddin’, strong drums, and gritty outlaw vocals. The opening song, which is also the title track, is as dirty and intoxicating and homegrown as the contents of the musical barrel in which it was distilled. “Hellbetties Risin’,” the first single from Moonshine Brightand a raw cowpunk offering with male and female vocals, is as sharp as the edge of a boot knife. “In Hell” is a lawbreaker anthem which rides like hell for the horizon, loot in hand, putting some distance between oneself and the hangman’s noose, yet knowing full well that, when the time comes, hell will be one’s ultimate destination. “The Storm is my Shelter” is about as close to traditional country music as this band gets, but it is still pretty far removed from the purist idea of the genre, which is decidedly a good thing. The closer, “A Life for an Eye,” is a little different from the rest of the album in that it is garagey roots rock and dark country punk hybrid.

Moonshine Bright by Phantom of the Black Hills is available from the Ratchet Blade Records webstore here.”

Phantom Remix On New Heathen Apostles Album

The Phantom of the Black Hills has done a remix of the Heathen Apostles song The Reckoning for their new album Requiem For A Remix, out now on Ratchet Blade Records. The album also includes remixes by Chopper Franklin and Almighty Watching, click HERE to preview and purchase. Below is a sampler video for the album, the POTBH remix begins at 4:20 (yes that’s right).

 


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