Friday, 16 February 2018
Action Andy & The Hi-Tones - High And Lonesome: The Fall And Rise Of Hilo
(This review first appeared in issue #69 of Shindig! magazine.)
It's not often in the singles-centric garage rock scene that anyone attempts a concept album but that's what we have here. Over the album's song suite the story is told of Hilo, an everyman kind of character who falls on hard times and battles the forces of darkness while searching for love in the honky tonks of South Texas.
Along the way he encounters temptation, the seedy dark underbelly of American culture, bar-room philosophers and finally redemption. It's a cautionary tale but ultimately an uplifting one, a story with more twists, turns, ups and downs than a Texas tornado, all told over a soundtrack of rockabilly, surf-rock, Tex-Mex and preacher-style spoken word passages underscored with jazzy double-bass.
This newest pressing of Action Andy's 2013 LP comes on bright red vinyl and is expanded with a rockabilly version of The Seeds' 'Pushing Too Hard' which fits neatly in with the deep-fried American noir.