Straddle a chair, fire up a hand-rolled cheroot, take a look into the shadows and light the porch lamp, because Opossum Holler is here. This trio of vibrantly-tattooed velvet roustabouts arrive ready to spin some moonshine yarns and leave a skull-shaped imprint in your forehead. These fellers are the real deal: loud, precise, and serving up equal parts humor and venom, their songs are a soulful, rollicking punk tornado delivered with a genteel, pearly-white snarl that smacks of Roy Orbison on Oxycodone. OP will scare the crap out of you in all the right ways. Lloyd Nicely, the band's perfectly-coiffed master troubadour wields his axe in a manner true to his surname. His yarns are the dangerous kind that can make women breathe, low in their throats, as they narrow their smoky eyes, and can raise the hackles and the jealous ire of their forgotten male companions. This snake-oil selling swamp Shakespeare can make the guitar he wields bark like a lunatic, ring like an angel's bell, or growl straight into Hell in a way that makes the corners of your mouth quirk upward in a rictus leer.
Matt Devore, resident skinsman of the Holler, lays down an insidiously smooth, metronomic beat that damnably compels your toes to tap as if possessed by the devil himself, and your screaming, Charley Horse-afflicted calf muscles will wish you dead. His backbeat alternately barrels along menacingly like a ghostly Wabash Cannonball missing a wheel or two, then blazes forth in a cheerful, rollicking skiffle. DeVore is always a vocal drum presence, and lays an admirable foundation onto which his foam-at-the-mouth counterparts drop their polished aural tonnage.
Heavily-inked bass slinger Brad Ausbrooks scrabbles at the strings of his chosen tool like a stoic Grim Reaper, his shadowed visage and rigidly set jaw carved out of granite as he shoots bolts of sonic thunder in a syncopated gut punch of visceral intensity and virtuosic, but somehow restrained flamboyance that makes the listener want to smile though bloody teeth. Ausbrooks sometimes whispers, sometimes bludgeons, but without fail delivers the goods.
Opossum Holler blasts out of the gate like a Howitzer, catching the unprepared in a formidable, sometimes vaguely disorienting, yet ceaselessly melodic and even ethereal psychotic jingle-jangle crossfire of pure Americana, seen through the eyes of Charles Manson. Do not take this band on lightly: they will chew you up and wipe their boot with the withered husk of your slack-jawed soul, then ghost away, leaving a bourbon-colored eddy in their wake. Highly recommended.