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The Black Halos

The Black Halos are a well-named Vancouver quintet which plays the kind of rock suggested by the unholy troika of sex, drugs, and rock and roll. That is to say, they play rock music of the blistering, violent, shit-kicking variety. It's tuneful, as such rock music tends to be, but in a very nasty way, full of shouted, oddly enunciated vocals, hateful, distorted guitars, chugging bass lines, and lots of snare and hi-hat. The individual songs aren't really the thing here -- in general they sort of bleed into one another -- it's the classic attitude: a bunch of bad boys up to no good. Think New York Dolls, think Dead Boys, think Sex Pistols, think Germs. You get the idea.

Things got started in 1994 when guitarist Rich Jones encountered singer Billy Hopeless wearing a pair of women's underwear. The two immediately became friends and soon recruited three other malcontents to form a rock band, which they initially called the Black Market Babies before being informed of the existence of another identically named band and becoming The Black Halos. They issued their 1999 self-titled debut on the Sub Pop sub-label Die Young, Stay Pretty. The Violent Years followed in 2001.

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