The Pine Hill Haints
Bury Your Hate in a Shallow Grave
The Pine Hill Haints are preachers of quick-paced gospel revivalism, the kind that sees the darkness and demons closing in on all sides. On this EP, the band breeds a southern gothic paranoia through nervous yelp punctuation and a low mournful saw that whispers like the rising wind on a winter night or a siren song from a cemetery. It very much harkens back to Uncle Tupelo’s masterpiece March 16-20, 1992, with the reworking of traditionals like “Where the Roses Never Fade” and “Wayfaring Stranger” — a song that saw a bizarre resurgence last year, appearing on the Cold Mountain soundtrack courtesy of Jack White, as well as on Neko Case’s live album. Singer Jamie Barrier’s lonesome tenor is similarly indebted to Jeff Tweedy.
Producer Calvin Johnson captures the feral sound of the group so well, the songs would easily fit right in on a Harry Smith Anthology. Seeing as how so few artists covering American traditional music recognize the fear and uncertainty contained in this material, for actually attempting to recreate such an atmosphere, The Pine Hill Haints are deserving of high praise.