Saturday, July 24, 2010

Metal Briefs: Country/Metal

Country and metal had been begging to be put together ever since Motörhead dressed up like cowboys and did "Shoot You in the Back". Many sludge metal groups, of course, use some southern rock influence. But here I'm going to take a look at three albums that are a lot more country. I could also have done Jeff Walker Und Die Fluffers, but maybe that will be another day.

Rebel Meets Rebel: Rebel Meets Rebel (2006)

Rebel Meets Rebel David Allan Coe is about as legendary as you can get among outlaw country singers. Who would have thought he would do so well as, essentially, a replacement for Phil Anselmo? Three members of Pantera (including Dimebag) did the music, and Coe did the singing, and it turned out quite well. Overall, it sounds a lot like Pantera (as you might expect), though less aggressive or dark and with more of an outlaw country sound and attitude. The obvious standout track is opener "Nothin' To Lose", but other greats include "No Compromise" and "Cherokee Cry" (the latter sounds suspiciously like it could be from Down). I give it 3.5 out of 5 stars.

Hank Williams III: Rebel Within (2010)

Rebel Within (Parental Advisory) I never thought I'd be buying a country album that didn't say "CASH" in big letters on the cover. But Hank III is about as outlaw as it gets, dabbling in country, punk, and metal. Whether this makes him simply a chameleon or the ultimate punk, I don't know, but he seems equally adept at all three styles. Rebel Within is almost purely country. No, not Nashville: This is very old-school country, with nasally singing and lots of twang. To me, that can get kind of tedious after a while, but he does incorporate blues (e.g. "Gone But Not Forgotten") and metal. The two obvious standout tracks are the title track and "Tore Up & Loud", which both have a lot of metal influence. I'm not sure I'm fully qualified to review a country album, but I like this well enough. I give it 3 out of 5 stars.

Assjack: Assjack (2009)

AssJack Hank III's metal band Assjack is the most aggressive album on this list. It's groove metal, hardcore punk, and sludge metal thrown into a blender, with the occasional hints of country and industrial. It's much faster than that description would indicate, and very aggressive. Standouts include "Cocaine the White Devil" and the amazing "Redneck Ride" (which uses elements from that cliche hillbilly banjo song). This is a very enjoyable listen, and I give it 4 out of 5 stars.

1 comment:

  1. I sense an eventual fusion genre. With sludge metal's occasional southern rock influences, it may only be a matter of time.