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All Her Fault [LP] *

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Performer Notes
  • British-born garage rock queen Holly Golightly has a long history of throwing down raw, scuffy recordings at a prolific rate, with some of her best albums being gorgeously unpolished classics that don't fuss with much more than the bare bones of rock & roll. The quick and dirty productions often captured an electric spontaneity and highlighted the various layers of humor, pathos, and gritty attitude in Golightly's one-of-a-kind voice. All Her Fault, the seventh full-length from Golightly and her partner Lawyer Dave (the sole member of "the Brokeoffs"), took a much different path, with the recording process stretching out over a series of many months, hindered by day jobs, summer thunderstorms, and intermittent power outages. While by no means overwrought or over-produced by almost anyone's standards, All Her Fault has a deeper refinement than most of Golightly's back catalog, with the heightened focus of the album giving it a somewhat more serious feel, even in its moments of lightheartedness or drunken blues-rock shambling. Stylistically, Golightly and Lawyer Dave have been tending more and more toward rollicking country-rock sounds for a while, and the 12 songs here infuse a little more rural folk-blues influence, going so far as to cover Richard M. Jones' stomping "Trouble in Mind." Songs like this, the lurching and murky "1234," and the barroom singalong of "Bless Your Heart" recall the same glorious haziness of rock & roll masterpiece Exile on Main St., where more stripped-down tunes like "The Best" highlight Golightly's eternally badass persona with sharp clarity. The album continues the trend of recent output from the duo, romping through honky tonk Western flavors like "Pistol Pete" and the occasional hint of punk blues like raging album opener "SLC," but there's something different about this record. Possibly the result of a protracted recording process, the album retains its rough edges while expanding the duo's sonic breadth. The darkness seems more dire and the fun moments feel more exciting and reckless, making All Her Fault a new chapter in a history of successes. ~ Fred Thomas
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