It’s Black Friday, and if you’re braving the malls for the deals of the season (or hitting up your local record store for RSD Black Friday exclusives), you’re going to need a soundtrack to get you through the day. Enter The Black Halos. The long-running punk band has blessed today with How The Darkness Doubled, their brand new LP on Stomp Records. Not only that, but guitarist Rich Jones has shared an EXCLUSIVE playlist to give you that extra jolt – like black coffee to the brain – for today.
From the opener – “A History of Violence,” which seems apt for how there’s always a viral Black Friday fight video – to the surging “Even Hell Is Looking Down” – to the electric “A Positive Note” that closes out the album, How The Darkness Doubled is a twelve-pack of adrenaline. It’s also a return to form for the band. “Reuniting with Billy [Hopeless] and Jay [Millette] 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,” says Rich. “Having our friends John [Kern] and Danni [Action] on board make this feel like the strongest lineup that we’ve ever had, and you can really hear it on this record.”
Friends, family, and fierceness will help everyone get through today. The term “Black Friday” was first coined in 1869, per Insider, when two investors caused a market crash by driving up the price of gold. In the 1950s and 1960s, the term was resurrected in Philadelphia to refer to the time between Thanksgiving and the Army-Navy game, when suburban shoppers would flood the city, flooding streets, and marketplaces.
In the 1980s, the term became synonymous with shopping. Marketers tried to turn “Black Friday” into a positive connotation, with stores going from “in the red” to “in the black” — aka how accountants used different color ink to differentiate debts and earnings.
After you blast How The Darkness Doubled, put on the following playlist courtesy of Rich Jones of The Black Halos.
The Exploding Hearts, “You’re Black & Blue”
The Exploding Hearts was a lo-fi power pop band from Portland, OR, who made one fantastic rock & roll record (Guitar Romantic) before three of the band were sadly killed in a van accident at the end of a tour in 2003. These days the album is a cult classic, and this is a great example of just why that is.
Manic Street Preachers, “Black Square”
A highlight from their 2014 Krautrock-inspired Futurology album, this song references Russian avant-garde painter Kazimir Malevich’s iconic Black Square painting. Recorded at Berlin’s famous Hansa studios, Futurology is infused with the same cool, retro-future vibes that flowed through [David] Bowie’s Berlin trilogy.
Yeah Yeah Yeahs, “Black Tongue”
A real raw-power standout from the YYY’s debut, ‘Black Tongue’ swings with sleazy NYC guitars and a wired, distorted vocal howl that would make Lux Interior proud.
From Canada’s unsung kings of guitar pop, this is a hook-filled garage jam from their sprawling 2006 double album, Never Hear The End Of It.
The Damned, “Wait For The Blackout”
Still going strong after more than four decades, The Damned were already showing their sense of musical adventure on 1980’s Black Album, which also featured a Hans Zimmer collaboration (“History Of The World”) and a 17-minute prog-punk epic (“Curtain Call”)