Kristian Montgomery and The Winterkill Band
A Heaven For Heretics
Alt. Country Fired Rock & Roll That Sounds Like it Was Found in a Ditch Wrapped in Rusty Barbed Wire.
As you know I like to bang up to the minute with the reviews we publish at RMHQ; and with so much to choose from we do like a professional Press Release to fill in any spare details we might need.
This album had none of those things and was released three months ago in January ….. yet there was still something that drew me to the contents; perhaps Kristian Montgomery being described as being at the ‘forefront of Appalachian Rock’!
While there is certainly a semblance of Rock here; even possibly of the Appalachian variety; but to my ears it’s more of the Alternative Country style of Rock ….. and for once I can’t think of a single singer or band who actually sounds like these cats.
Without ever actually sounding like he’s feeling sorry for himself; Montgomery has had a Helluva life; serving six months in jail (with part being in solitary confinement) and hanging out with Nicaraguan Rebels too!
The opening track, Ain’t Got Nobody But Me is a real humdinger ….. it’s wound as tight as the wires on a fishing trawler and Montgomery’s vocals sound as intense as any I’ve heard this year or last ….. and while it’s a type of love song; it’s not of the ‘hearts and flowers’ variety; especially when the killer line to describe his lover is;
“She drinks like John Belushi“
and they say romance is dead!
There’s an all pervading darkness all over these songs; but that’s a good thing sometimes …… what else would you expect from songs titled I’ll Break Your Heart Again and The Year The Bottom Fell Out or especially Come Carry Weight With Me which sounds like it was found in a ditch wrapped in rusty barbed wire.
There’s very little light here to balance the shade and darkness in the lyrics and arrangements; so you will feel you are grasping a nettle for survival when you hear the fiery Country Rock and Roll of Peach; and then the dirty Rockabilly of Times Like These and Secret Watering Hole finally when they make an appearance late on.
On an album like this; with ever darkening stories; scary and heartfelt guitar breaks and solos accompanying an industrial strength rhythm section that everything sparks off; yet I keep getting drawn back to the potent Family Owned and also the simmering If I Live to See Virginia; with the latter probably shading the award at the last minute.
While I can’t think of anyone who actually sounds like Kristian Montgomery I guess fans of Sturgill Simpson, Jason Isbell and maybe even Margo Price and Lucinda Williams will love this album too.
BUY DON’T SPOTIFY