The country guitar twanging and heavy metal inclinations of Saddle Of Southern Darkness’s new single “Killbilly” are nothing new to a band that specializes in bringing the likeness of both together in equal parts to begin with, but if you’re not familiar with them it’s as good a place as any to start. Saddle Of Southern Darkness are an interesting band to say the least, with great storytelling and excellent guitars and vocals that embody the twisted elements of the whole idea of mixing two well-loved styles into one driving force without losing anything real about the two great forms.

Make no mistake about it, this is as playful as it is serious and vice versa, so the single comes recommended as much for its campy thrills as its well composed delivery by what are obviously seasoned pros in Trent and Chase Williams, coming from Kentucky to Colorado. But it can also be depicted as very dark and gloomy their video to promote the song, but that also seems to be where the challenge lies, to take something for what it truly is. Listening to this number is really where it’s at, but for those with visual needs it takes the song into another realm.


The necessary evils always prevail, and this is a tune that exploits it successfully but doesn’t show the whole picture of the band in one shot, it’s more of a concept-based group so they have a thread which must be heard beyond this single to fully respect how good they are. It’s worth indicating these things because one song can’t tell you everything about a band, and these are very good musicians with lots of attitude and moxie, who write good songs built around two classic genres that most people wouldn’t even try to weave together, except for the surf factor which seems to keep them glued.

You get everything from rockabilly to horror on steroids in just one track, so there’s much more than meets the eyes and ears on “Killbilly.” The surf guitar runs are what set this track apart for me, but in checking out more of their music I was glad to see it’s not a one-time thing. It’s laced throughout their stuff, and it’s done right. These aren’t some blues guys trying to do something of the same old bar scene variety, but they can obviously fit that bill if necessary.


This track molds everything together which is good for both metal and country rock and other roots, and it makes you want to see them play live just to see how it translates to the stage with the players going off on their good tangents. It’s the bombast of surf and spy element which sits between country and metal guitar playing that keeps it interesting for what it’s worth, but they also have plenty of songs to sink your ears into that go above and beyond the call of duty to find “Killbilly” as good as the rest of what they do and that’s a winning ticket to venture out and see, as well as add to the device playlist.

Sebastian Cole