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Thunderbitch - Self Titled LP
Includes mp3 download of album.
Brittany Howard was already having a banner year in early 2015 thanks to her main band, Alabama Shakes, reaching the pole position on the Billboard charts with their second album, Sound & Color, when she unleashed the eponymous debut from her side band Thunderbitch that fall. With Alabama Shakes, Howard skillfully plays off a number of strands of American roots music, but whatever she couldn't fit into that group she finds space for in Thunderbitch -- namely, the kind of nasty growl that characterizes so much rock & roll that crawls out of the garage. Thunderbitch are very conscious of this lineage: there are songs about wild childs, leather jackets and guitars, all scored to three chords. Sometimes, the band grooves to a bit a rockabilly swing ("Eastside Party"), sometimes they'll slide into a bluesy churn ("Closer"), and there's even a time where they work up a sideways tribute to the Cars ("Very Best Friend" could be an answer song to "My Best Friend's Girl"), but usually they work up a wild head of steam bashing out chords so hard they threaten to splinter. Initially, the noise is the allure, but subsequent spins reveal these songs are as tightly constructed as those Howard writes for Alabama Shakes and, in some respects, maybe even a little sturdier. After all, they can all sustain the relentless pummeling they receive here.