Hillstomp, a guitar-and-percussion duo from Portland, Oregon, takes its cue from primordial North Mississippi blues cats like R.L. Burnside and Othar Turner. The bandmates balance the primitive drone of the Southern hills with a concentrated postpunk attack that keeps the music moving at a fever pitch. Before rock and roll, people danced to the blues, as Hillstomp reminds us with a thunderous groove. Henry Kammerer plays resonator guitar, a metal-body instrument that produces big, plump chord clusters and cascades of sizzling slide guitar noise. Drummer John Johnson holds down the beat with his vicious snare and kick drum, adding accents on a collection of plastic food drums and tin cans.
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