THE HICKSVILLE BOMBERS - HEAVEN IN HELL.
Released May 2023
Dave Brown vocals/guitar Landon Filer - double bass Paul Saunders - Drums Scott Brown - Harmonica on Devil's Fight
All tracks written by Dave Brown
Concrete jungle SE28 arranged by Paul Saunders
Produced by Clive Duffin at Foot Tapping Records.
Mixed and mastered by Graham Dominy at Embassy studios
Front cover by Dave Brown
Buy the album here: https://py.pl/21gjk6
Let’s have a listen to the tracks: Devils Fight – 13 second slow talking section, then we’re off.. this number is a rockin’ blues bopper and guaranteed to get you up and dancing. 3 minutes 44 seconds of an awesome mid - tempo raw stompin, foot-tappin tune, great snare resonate, bass is just perfect and the guitar has a fab sound with Scott on the harmonica adding the icing on this cake! Once your hear the beat it’s sure gonna get you outta your chair and hitting that dance floor, daddio’s.. bop kat bop! I just can’t wait to hear the next number! Don’t Let Me Face The Rain – Dave wrote this original. The woman rings the guy to say she is leaving him so he has to try and get home…. Then he has to face the agony and the rain! Nice slow start to this up-tempo number… Dave’s vocal is just spot on with feeling and great variation throughout, fab mix on the drums which sit higher and with real powerhouse snare work from Paul, bass slapping Landon is really going for it and the guitar solo just oozes perfection. There’s a fabulous change of speed right at the end and with just 2 songs in both tracks are sounding really phenomenal… and I have to mention, another original that’s over 3 minutes long. Take A Bite – this track is written about when people disappoint you: it’s always best to take a bite and not react to the situation at hand. This is a real catchy bouncy track with a great hook line… once again this trio have hit the bullseye with another terrific number, and I love the stop at 2 minutes 16… it really does move along nicely and I can see it being a real singalong tune at the clubs, You heard it here first, folks! Heaven In Hell – this is a very Hank Williams inspired number, when people tell you can drink go to bars etc but these are things that you like to do and favourite places… so heaven in hell… “heaven is a bar room where the whiskey tastes just right…” The lyrics on this track are just stupendous, this is a very slow tune and very meaningful that really does showcase Dave’s voice range just perfectly with his deeper vocal. Grease Monkey – this song happened during a rehearsal…. It started with Paul who wanted a machine gun solo. So, here we have a thumpin’ strollin’ kick ass instrumental from the guys… Paul steps up with thunderous drumming all the way through the tune, awesome solid bass playing once again from Landon and chords on the verses from Dave before exploding into his lead guitar. Love the stomping section in the last 10 seconds and the echoing ‘Grease Monkey’ shout outs too! So Long I’m Gone – This was written by Roy Orbison who never actually recorded it, but first recording was Ray Scott 1956 and a year later by Warren Smith for Sun Records. Here, the Bombers take on the later version and have really nailed it, just perfectly bringing the tune up to date in 2023 and at an extra 28 seconds in length with the added instrumental section this cover is just perfection... expect this tune to get plenty of airplay at the clubs. The Man You Want Me To Be – this was previously a fast number that was released back in 2018 but Dave decided to slow it down…I really love it and it definitely gives the tune a great new dimension. The lyrics are telling your partner that I’ll be anything you want to be! Here we have a nice slow number from the guys that really does show the musical range of tempos they have in their repertoire… it’s a real mellow number and a great addition to this album. Bottomless Pit – written about a work colleague who was stealing packets… he thought he had a bottomless pit and could take anything he wanted! Landon starts off this number, swiftly followed by Paul on his floor tom, Dave on geetar and vocals in on 15 seconds, and then the volcano explodes at 35 seconds… Dave has more of a growling vocals on this original tune… it then reverts back to the slower verses before the lava flows once again and into the chorus and solo. I am really liking all the changes of tempo on this one. It has a great neo sound to it in my opinion, and very reminiscent of those early 80’s times… love, love, love! Concrete Jungle SE28 – Paul wanted to do a tribute to Sandy Nelson so composed and put together lots of his songs. The title is taken from Thamesmead (a town in South East London) and SE28 is the first part of the postcode. Yay! As a fellow drummer I’m really digging the beats going on here there and everywhere… floor tom, rack tom, shuffle, off beats rolls, snares, rim shots, cow bell.. drums a go-go-go, Paul… Dave’s guitar is really dirty and Landon’s bass outstanding once again. Tremendous, and just drum-tastic! Can’t Get Drunk On You – returning to a rockin blues tune…. you are out drinking, but you can’t get enough to get over your heartache… nice and cool, and then right outta the traps at a minute, and vocals go up in range and the whole song lifts dramatically and up up up and beyond… then the trio bring it right back down with awesome light and shade. Wowsville, what a song this is! You just gotta hear this track played live at one of their shows.. scream on! Fake Whiskey – ‘whiskey feels not real, as I am still hurting with disappointment’… starts with fab bass work from Landon and Dave’s vocals on their own and Paul is on the hi-hat’s… then once round and in comes the geetar and a snare pattern. As the tune and story develop, the track gains speed slightly and becomes more meaningful… “cos I still hurt!” Double instrumental section with outstanding musicianship from all three of The Bombers… at 3 minutes 50 the band have hit the jackpot on this one! Born To Be Wild – originally released by Steppenwolf back in 1968 and featured in the film Easy Rider in the road sequence. So, the Bombers take it on and the result is... fab guitar intro, then we are all in! This one’s a much more rocked up version, hic-cup vocal in places and change of words, a new solo section at 1 minute 30., and then the long double section at 2 minutes 40…loving the slapping bass throughout on this version…loving the end section… The Bombers are wild and if you’ve seen them live then you will know what I mean!
In their own words –about the band when formed gigs etc and influences? The Hicksville Bombers Formed in 1992 Originally Dave Brown, Peter O’Brien, Bryn Jones… The musicians that followed were..Paul Chambers – Bass, Andy Turner – Drums, Guy Trigg – Bass, Shaun Cutts - Drums Tony Roath – Drums. The Bombers have played Europe and USA, supporting and backing some original stars, they have released 12 albums, 3 vinyl singles and 1 x 10” record. The last album ‘Danger road’ got to number 1 in the indie rockin’ charts! The Bombers are heavily influenced by Eddie Cochran, John Lee Hooker, Elvis, rockabilly, blues and country music. Dave loves song writing and tries to write songs about personal moments or put together a story that will play like a film track in your mind. Too many bands do the same covers at a safe tempo. The Bombers do mostly their own songs, a few covers from outside the rockin’ scene and make it rockin’ with a nod to a classic or 2 that no other bands do.
We chose to record at Embassy studios as we loved the Imelda May sound from there, we wanted a rawish live sound that wasn’t over produced, to try and capture the Bombers live stage sound.
CLOSING COMMENTS ABOUT THE ALBUM What a fabulous 12 track C.D. release from this awesome trio. This album is packed with fantastic tunes and there’s something here for everyone...fast pace, mid-tempo, instrumentals, slow numbers and blues boppers… so stop reading this review, click on the link above and go grab yourselves a copy... highly recommend daddio’s!!
Hot press ! Dave tells me that they have just been booked for a 10-day European tour so watch this space for me details coming real soon.
Reviewed by Dave Diamond