Music Review—How the Darkness Doubled

Album: How the Darkness Doubled
Artist: The Black Halos

Canadian punk band, The Black Halos, have released their new LP, How the Darkness Doubled—an unofficial follow-up album to The Black Halos’ 2001 release, The Violent Years.  The album is available for streaming anywhere you get your music.

The band consists of Billy Hopeless on vocals, Rich Jones on guitar and vocals, Jay Millette on guitar, John Kerns on bass and vocals, and Danni Action on drums and vocals.  Hopeless, Jones, and Millette formed The Black Halos in “the underbelly of the Vancouver punk scene” in 1994.  The members have reunited with a few new additions to release How The Darkness Doubled. 

Of the album, guitarist Rich Jones says, “Reuniting with Billy and Jay for this new album brought my focus back to writing with a mindset that was pure, uncompromising Halos – as far as I’m concerned, we’ve really achieved it.  Having our friends John and Danni on board makes this feel like the strongest lineup that we’ve ever had, and you can really hear it on this record.  Additionally, Billy and I had always planned to call the third album How the Darkness Doubled.  So, it seemed natural to use that title now, 20 years later, for what I consider to be a spiritual follow-up to The Violent Years.”

How the Darkness Doubled consists of twelve tracks: A History Of Violence; Tenement Kids; Uncommonwealth; Forget Me Knot; Better Days; You Can’t Take Back The Night; Even Hell Is Looking Down; All Of My Friends Are Like Drugs; Ready To Snap (feat.  Michael Monroe); Frankie Come Home; Ain’t No Good Time To Say Goodbye; A Positive Note.  The tracks “Better Days” and “Tenement Kids” have music videos available on YouTube.

The Black Halos remind me of The Sex Pistols (both in the way they sound and how they look).  They are grungy, chaotic, glam punk.  While I’m a big fan of the aesthetic, I can’t say I usually enjoy this kind of music.  It can sound “noisy”, for lack of a better word, and while I understand that this “noisiness” is meant to represent chaos and anarchy, it’s hard for me to handle.

That being said, I thought The Black Halos did a great job on this album.  It was well thought-out and put-together, the lyrics had meaning, and the music videos were very cool.  I especially enjoyed song “Better Days”, with lyrics like, “So say goodbye to the good old days/We’ve been to hell and back again/But these are better days”.  The music video for this song was also great, featuring old footage of the band playing shows in the 90s for maximum nostalgia.

Overall, I (surprisingly!) really enjoyed How The Darkness Doubled.

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