Thursday, November 27, 2008

Damn Right, Rebel Proud

Hank Williams IIILast year when I went to make my end of the year top 10 best albums of the year list, I found it almost difficult to fill up ten spots. There seemed to be a lack of quality albums last year. This year is a different story. Every time I turn around I listen to another candidate for 2008's top ten list. My latest exquisite listening joy ride comes from Hank Williams III and the album is called Damn Right, Rebel Proud.

There is no doubt that there is some talent running through those Williams boys DNA. Whether or not you're a fan of Senior, Junior, or III one has to admit that is one talented family. Being a rock n roller doesn't preclude me from listening to things on the country side. Folks my age are more familiar with Jr's music than we are with the original country rebel, Hank Williams himself. We know his legacy though. Through the latter part of the seventies and the eighties we listened to Hank Williams Jr (or Bocephus if you will), right alongside Aerosmith, Kiss and The Clash. Every party we ever had a Bocephus record would make an appearance, more than likely one of the songs with All My Rowdy Friends in the title. Even though country, Bocephus was more rock n roll than country. So homercat loves his Bocephus.

Enter the third generation Williams boy. Looking eerily almost like his grandfather, Hank III's music alternates between somewhat traditional country, and a more aggressive music that touches on punk rock and elements of various heavy metal styles. Luckily he’s seemed to have inherited his namesakes’ showmanship and their love of illicit substances to go with it. His previous album, Straight to Hell, became the first major-label Country album to bear a parental advisory warning. Damn Right, Rebel Proud is the fourth album released by Hank Williams III, which came out at the end of October. The album was released in two separate versions, one being a censored release for major retailers(most notably Wal-Mart), the other is uncensored. The subject matter is pretty much the same as it was on his previous albums: getting drunk, getting stoned, and the numerous faults of the commercial country music industry, with a couple of no account women thrown in for good measure.

Holy crap this is one fine kick in the ass album. You know exactly what lies in wait after hearing the first track of the album. The Grand Ole Opry (Ain't So Grand Any More) on which Williams takes the venerable country music institution to task for its hypocritical use of his grandfather's image and music for decades after they revoked his membership. I Wish I Knew is a broken-hearted lament that's a first-class tear in your beer-drinking weeper. Then there's P.F.F., the longest song on the album at over 10 minutes. The lyrics about “find[ing] a whore and fuck[ing] her until she’s black and blue” may not appeal to the more traditional of Williams’s fans, but damn if it ain't a catchy tune. It's actually two songs as the first part runs along at breakneck speed then after a brief, spoken-word interlude, Hank III performs the song again, this time in slow, country fashion.

So in a few simple words, if you just spilled whiskey on those hard to get AC/DC tickets, you’re angry, brokenhearted, under the influence of various substances, screwed over by both your woman and The Man, then this album would make a great soundtrack for your day. Highly recommend purchasing this one as soon as you can.

The Grand Ole Opry (Ain't So Grand Any More)
3 Shades of Black
Buy It

Funny Toon