Holly Golightly and the Brokeoffs
Dirt Don’t Hurt
Eschewing all of those tiresome dictums of the marketplace — one album every three years, you’ve only got one, maybe two good albums in you, play young — Golightly keeps her music raw, primal and brazen, blazing a singular sort of garage-art path. It’s fucking good stuff. Check out her Thee Headcoatees albums, check out her In Blood album with Billy Childish, shit, check out her turn on the White Stripes’ “It’s True That We Love One Another,” but for fuck’s sake, most germanely, check out this new set of down-down-deep country blues, Dirt Don’t Hurt. Holly Golightly’s backing Brokeoffs is actually one man, Lawyer Dave, the stand-up bass player in her touring band; and between the two of them, they craft every single bang and crash on the album. Even the tall tales behind the creation of the album are a breath of fresh, crisp autumn air — recorded on a Spanish coast during a recent tour in a scant five days. The sea air, the deadline, the shortage of hands and ready-made air lends the album this rough-hewn immediacy and lusty fervor.
Check it out, it’s apparent right off the bat in the shambley hillbilly twang n’ bash of “Bottom Below,” a bratty ramble full of careless slide guitar, clattering drums and tuneless joyously shared vocals. (Though weirdly Golightly sounds kinda like a young and much more boisterous Emmylou Harris or Loretta Lynn.) Oh, that was a weird comparison to make, especially when the Grand Ole Opry C&W swoon of “Up Off The Floor” follows immediately. A nifty trick that’s repeated again in the woman-scorned vitriol “For All This.” “Burn Your Fun” is an awesome one-chord drone that completely reminds me of Junior Kimbrough’s “You Better Run.” Well played. “My 45” is one of those sass duets that June Carter and Johnny Cash did like “Jackson,” all back and forth insults and one-upsmanship, but with wayyyy more black comedy slapstick violence. I love the reverbed menace of “Indeed You Do,” everything is drenched in echo: Golightly’s icy vocals, the “rumbley” guitar chimes and icepick solo, the tambourine heartbeats.
“Boats Up the River” is a bluegrass stomp with distant cavelike vocals calling out through the canyon over a tense, propulsive guitar n’ banjo march. It’s like wagon-wheels turning and turning and kinda haunted, when you hear a ghostly Golightly and Dave intone, “if the blues overtake me/ jump in that river and drown.” Appropriately, the album ends with a boisterous electrified rave-up of guitars and cardboard percussion as Golightly and Dave try to shout over the other with declarations of love and affection. That’s the stuff. All delivered in a sweet, spontaneous wild lo-fi style; no fussing over takes and other fucking nonsense like that, there’s more spirits to drink, songs to sing and tunes to play.