Hill Valley Lightning
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Hill Valley Lightning

London, Ontario, Canada | Established. Jan 01, 2010

London, Ontario, Canada
Established on Jan, 2010
Band Rock Alternative

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Jun
29
Hill Valley Lightning @ Lachie Music Festival

Hagersville, Ontario, Canada

Hagersville, Ontario, Canada

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Hill Valley Lightning is an eclectic group of well-rounded musicians. Almost every one of them is a multi-instrumentalist and every one of them sings in Hill Valley Lightning. Their style is distinctive but not easily pinned down. They are tonally raw and compositionally catchy. Playing a blend of 90’s pop mixed with late seventies proto-punk, however, their most palpable influences have clearly been weaned from a lifetime of enjoying the post-inception phase of rock and roll in the late 50’s and early sixties. They are best described as the musical spawn of pop punk and rockabilly if conceived while The Beach Boys where watching.

This album is their first full-length release. It is a self-titled LP with 10 strong songs. It was recorded live off the floor in London Ontario at The Vault Studio. The album flows well enough, but the purpose of this album is more as a showcase. It displays the versatility within the one style that Hill Valley Lightning has chosen to pursue as a band.

Their lead singer Jake Young gives out very distinctive little Elvis or buddy holly style squeaks. Young studied composition at Berkley and also plays rhythm guitar in HVL. Cam Collie is on and drums and vocals. His playing keeps the group in that gray area between modern and nostalgic, maintaining a fine balance amid several styles. Eric Roeloftsen is on bass and vocals, his playing is very versatile, however, his tone is quite modern, avoiding the standup bass sounds that these groups often strive for. Evan Fowler is on lead guitar and vocals. His emphatic accents are the honey drizzled on top of these catchy compositions. He also maintains a very bright and metallic tone throughout the album that brings you right back in time.

The album starts off with ‘Backseat Bingo’, a throw back to their old band name (of that name). The song is very much a 90’s style stadium rock anthem with the tonal influences of early classic rock. ‘Crazy’ truly sounds like a 50’s song made in modern times, the do-op style background vocals have to be the obvious culprit. It is simple and catchy yet still very punky, using 12 bar style it is akin to something that ‘The Ramones’ might have done if they where still around today.

‘Devil Yell’ is an evil sounding southern rock epic. One can easily visualize the music video for this song; a lonely tortured cowboy contemplating evil deeds as he rides through the desert. The chorus is rather modern and juxtaposed. The drums in this track are stylistically impeccable, starting with just a tap of the sticks and descending into deep booming tones and a spastic crash. ‘Hard moon’ is one of their more modern style songs. It is a medium tempo rock ballad with melancholy overtones. In case you weren’t sure what they were into, or you did not want to take my word for it, Hill Valley Lightning actually do a very high-energy version of ‘The Twist’, a cover of the classic tune by Hank Ballard and The Midnighters. The production gets a little soupy in the middle of the track, but it fits with the intense energy of the cover.

‘Who done you wrong’ might be my favorite track on the album. It is another song that would have easily been an early sixties hit, if it had different production values. This song is slightly set apart because of the strong emphasis on the bands lovely background harmonies. Their album closer ‘Don’t Settle’ has the most clash-influenced flair of any of HVL’s songs. Tonally it is a visceral experience although the song also takes on a bluesy hard rock style. It sounds like something that The Pack A.D. would love.

For those of you like me who feel like you might have been born in the wrong decade, you will surely enjoy Hill Valley Lightning. Those of you who like local bands like ‘Air Marshal Landing’ or ‘Marcellus Wallace’ will also be sure to love these guys. Of course there is an easy way to know, check out their tunes for yourself: - Round Table Radio


Tonight I saw Hill Valley Lightning play at the Horseshoe. I gleefully ask you to imagine the “Ronnets” bending the time and space continuum to spend a lustful night with the Ramones in 1978 then leaving their fertilized eggs (like turtles) not under the sand but under the watchful yet irresponsible watch of Brian Wilson (the Beach Boys) and Jonathan Richmond who invite ZZ Top and Brian Eno over to baby sit. Meanwhile the new brood keeps switching the speed of the turntable from 16 to 78 then back to the 45 rpms the soundtrack of their life was recorded in - Joe Lewis


Hill Valley Lightning hail from the waste lands of Southern Ontario and are not your typical run of the mill rock band.Formally known as Back Seat Bingo this started out as a one man show in 2009. Jake Young had a few songs that he wrote laying around and decided to cut a 5 song demo.Funny thing happened that demo landed into the laps of a couple of Dj's .It started to get some airplay and some positive feedback. As a result in early 2010 Jake put the band together and right away they started turning heads with their brand of refreshing of rock n roll.Even more impressive was that when the band played live they only would do one cover and the rest was all original material.In late 2012 the band changed the name to Hill Valley Lightning.
All that said for some this self-titled debut album has been a long time coming.Clocking in with 10 pretty fine tracks this is one kool rock n roll album that you gotta like .We get all 5 from the demo(freshly redone) and 4 new tracks plus one cover. Combining elements of straight up rock,garage,rockabilly to 50's rock and surf pop.Highlights include:"Crazy"," Back Seat Bingo","Long Way" and the impressive single "Hard Moon". There is a lot to like here from the song writing to the execution. Hell this is a rock n roll album that is just plain damn good and that's getting harder to find now a days so you may want to check it out! https://www.facebook.com/hillvalleylightning - John Vandertuin


Bio: Backseat Bingo is a 4pc band that has been making quite a buzz for themselves since their arrival to the London scene a couple of years back. They have played from London to Toronto and then back to good old Londontown just a few weeks ago. We at Shakin Katz have had the pleasure of booking this band on a couple of our bills over the past few year's...We have heard comments from the peeps like "these guys are awesome"...."wow"....."these guys are pretty solid, tight and original"..."great young band" etc.

Backseat Bingo has emerge as one of London's Upcoming bands based on their strong collection of originals and evolving live performances (at their last gig the introduction of a keyboard was added....honestly how kool is that)!!!

This band infuses garage, rockabilly, 60's rock and just straight up rock n roll....the bands song "Devil Yell" has a regular rotation on Shakin Katz Radio Request List
- CHRW 94.9 FM - Shakin Katz Radio Show


Discography

Still working on that hot first release.

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Bio

Hill Valley Lightning is a 50s inspired rock n roll band from London. Founded in 2010, they've spent the last 3 years recreating Enchantment Under the Sea dances at every gig. They're loud, screamy and very, VERY dancy! They are known in London as a must see live band and have gained the support of local music affiliations such as London Indie Underground and 94.9 Shakin' Katz Radio. Their debut album was released on December 31, 2013. 

Band Members