Following Bohannons' previous two efforts (the Steve Albini-produced debut EP Days of Echo and their critically-acclaimed 2012 album Unaka Rising) the Chattanooga, TN-based foursome will be releasing their sophomore studio full-length, Black Cross. Black Shield this March (via This Is American Music).
On it, brothers Marty and Matt Bohannon & company deliver an intense, highly-charged platter that incorporates punk, metal and southern roots music into a heavy and heady melting pot of sounds and styles. The often thundering calamity that charges through these 10 tracks provide the perfect backdrop to the equally heavy subject matter. The album delves into heartbreak ("Love Stunt"), loss of loved ones through both suicide ("Darkest Night") & terminal illness ("Death and Texas"), ghosts ("Lightning and Thunder"), corporate insurance greed ("Black Cross. Black Shield") and inhumanities toward immigrants ("Dias de las Muertas"). Yet there are also songs that not only face death with a certain fearlessness ("Cold Rag"), but also finds the band second-lining headfirst into the Apocalypse on the closing metal dirge ("Red, White, Black and Pale").
"There is a theme to this album," Marty explains, "and it's not death. It's the beauty of death and memorializing the departed with electricity and force."
Marty Bohannon (rhythm guitar & vocals)
Matt Bohannon (lead guitar & vocals)
Mike Gaut (drums)
Billy C. Robinson (bass)
… AND ARE JOINED ON BLACK CROSS. BLACK SHIELD BY:
Josh Beaver (bass)
Nick Sterchi (drums)
James Leg (piano and Fender Rhodes)
Nikki Ellis and Mary Higgins (backing vocals)
Jimbo Mathus (harmonica)
HERE'S WHAT WAS WRITTEN ON THE STONES THROWN AT THE BOHANNONS:
"... a beautiful mess of rock and roll." - DIFFUSER.FM
“The Bohannons are one of Chattanooga’s finest exports, who make heavy rock ’n’ roll that’s equal parts Mötorhead and Neil Young, with lead guitar chops that rival both." - NASHVILLE SCENE
“The Bohannons are a pedal-to-the-metal conflagration of strands including Southern boogie, grunge, classic ‘70s hard rock, punk a la the Clash, the Pogues, and Billy Bragg. Anyone who’s really into rock should check them out.” - MY OLD KENTUCKY BLOG
"The Bohannons new album, Unaka Rising is a real scorcher. It’s an odd thing to say about a band, but their approach to music makes so much sense that it’s difficult to understand why their particular cocktail of heavy Southern rock jangle hasn’t already been done to death by someone else. A little Two Gallants, a little Black Sabbath, they’re as heavy as they are twangy. They manage their heaviness without venturing into melodrama, which is difficult for many artists that venture into darker territory. Their music begs to serve as a soundtrack to a genre of film that doesn’t currently exist—some kind of violent, stylized-but-gritty (a la Tarantino) Southern road movie patterned after the classic Western model." - OXFORD AMERICAN
“The Bohannons give a heavy, Southern-tinged rock n’ roll ass-kicking on their recent album Unaka Rising.” - SLUG MAGAZINE
“This is not music that invites you to listen passively. This is music that attacks and forces you to engage from the very first notes. The lyrics delve into the rich mines of Southern mythology and are filled with the imagery of their native region. The sound here is anything but predictable. Yes, there are blues licks and high, lonesome, twangy sounds like the best of bluegrass, but there is also violently raucous guitar, emotionally charged vocals, more than a touch of metal, and above all else, rock and roll.If you like homegrown rock that defies the norm and demands a response, you owe it to yourself to give The Bohannons a listen. You just may find out that it's exactly what you've been looking for. - SEATTLE POST INTELLEGENCER
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