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Harry & The Howlers Harry & The Howlers
Album: Harry & The Howlers
Label: Self Released
Tracks: 6

Headed up by Birmingham spitfire Hayley Jordan, Harry & The Howlers unequivocally play the best damn rockabilly this century, Jordan's musical DNA entwined with that of such greats as Wanda Jackson, Janis Martin and Rosetta Tharpe. Playing a Gretsch rhythm guitar and backed by Toby Smith on lead, Kris Hill on bass and Michelle Dawes on drums, Jordan has a hellcat of a voice and, as her striking image shows (leather, neon red lipstick, baby doll pout, platinum blonde, wide-eyes, looking not unlike Sparkle Moore), like Elvis, she's well aware that sex is a strong ingredient in the music. But there's no point having the former, if you don't have the latter to back it up. And Jordan has it by the truckload.

Following on from last year's 'Blowin' Up Your Jukebox' EP, this, her debut mini album, produced by Gavin Monaghan, explodes with thundering drums and jungle yelps in 'Hell In High Heels', a blast of female defiance in the face of male sneers and condescension that puts testosterone in a chokehold. Hill punishing the electric bass until it begs for mercy and her guitar shooting off enough sparks to light up the sky, 'Bad Woman' reinforces the don't mess with me attitude and is suitably followed with the voodoobilly (complete with echoey guitar chord and swamp creature cackle intro) snarlingly sung 'Devil In A Push Up Bra' where, backed by ghost riders drums and guitars, she refers to herself as a feral little girl.

Racing along like an express train on steroids, 'One Night Love Affair' is just over 90 seconds, but still manages to pack in a blistering guitar solo over the clattering drums before heading into 'Magic 8 Ball' with its twangy licks. Showing she's not just an adrenaline fireball, the all too brief set (around 16 minutes) closes with 'Wild Wild West', a mid tempo, more honky tonk inclined prowl on which she again warns that if you want to rock with her you've got to have the balls to keep up and the blood to spill. Forget Imelda May's polite cocktail lounge brand, this is 100% hooch.

Mike Davies