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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Molly Hatchet

Greatest Hits II

Review by Gary Hill

This best of collection is a two CD set. The first disc is composed of recent Hatchet hits. The second disc includes a bunch of live recordings and one previously unreleased tune. Those looking to catch up with modern Molly Hatchet in one shot will find this an excellent purchase. It should be noted that I reviewed several of these cuts previously on their original album. I’ll be using the track reviews (or adapting them) here for the sake of consistency.

This review is available in book format (hardcover and paperback) in Music Street Journal: 2011  Volume 4 at lulu.com/strangesound.

Track by Track Review
Disc 1
Son of the South

This cut reflects the heavier, quite metal like sound of Molly Hatchet. There’s still plenty of bluesy southern rock built in, particularly on the vocals. It’s a killer tune that’s very catchy.

Heart of the USA
There’s a killer bluesy groove on display here. There’s still some metal to be heard, but less than on the opening piece.
Tatanka
This is much more metal than anything to this point (witness the cool spoken vocal segment mid-track and the melodic heavy metal guitar solo that follows). Still, they don’t sacrifice the southern rock elements to get there.
Fall of the Peacemakers

A powerful balladic cut, this is actually quite prog-like in nature. It’s also very epic.

American Pride
Here’s a killer rock and roll tune with a lot of Southern flavor and some tasty piano work. This rocker is very effective.
Devil's Canyon
Take a slow, but hard rocking old school Hatchet song and then add a bit more crunch to the guitar sounds. You’ll have a good idea of what this dramatic piece feels like. They turn it to a smoking hot classic Hatchet rocker later. There’s some scorching guitar soloing in that section.
World of Trouble
A killer bass line leads this off. Then they launch out into a riff driven number that’s less metal than just gritty hard rock. It’s got plenty of crunch, though. This is another powerhouse on a disc of powerhouses. It’s one of my favorites here. There’s a lot of energy and a lot of style. It gets more metallic in the screaming jam later. They really pack a lot into this.
Down from the Mountain
This is certainly how it’s done. A metal vibe is brought to a classic Molly Hatchet bluesy southern rock song. This is another scorcher and another highlight of the set. It’s one of the most effective at merging metal with the classic Hatchet groove.
I'm Gonna Live 'til I Die
This comes in with a balladic approach and takes on an epic scale as it continues. It is less metallic than some of the other stuff, but yet resembles epic metal power ballads. It’s a killer tune that represents a nice change of pace. It still rocks out like crazy, but is less of an energized number than some of the rest of the music here. Parts of this almost resemble progressive rock. The mellow motif returns to end it.
Safe in My Skin
There’s a definite bluesy rock and roll element to this. It’s killer southern rock with a bit of a metal twist. I like it a lot. There’s an especially tasty organ solo on this, followed by a smoking guitar solo.
Rainbow Bridge
A melodic intro leads this off. It’s got some crunch and some bluesy southern rock built into it. It’s a powerful, epic ballad with a lot of emotion.
Cornbread Mafia
There are a lot of “down home” touches to this, but it’s also got classic bluesy Molly Hatchet elements to be found. It’s another killer tune.
Mississippi Moon Dog
This is very much set in a classy blues rock Molly Hatchet sound. It’s a great tune, but not really standout amongst all the killer material here.
The Journey
A bluesy rocker, this one is sort of ballad-like. It grows and builds and creates a cool journey-like sensation. It’s a real epic number that works really well. It’s got some scorching guitar in this piece.
Disc 2
Bounty Hunter (Live)
Here’s a classic Molly Hatchet rocker delivered with a bit of metal in the mix. It’s a screaming hot live number showing that these guys really pull it off in style in the live venue.
Gator County (Live)
Another Molly Hatchet classic, this one’s delivered with passion, power and style.
Edge of Sundown (Live)
A powerful southern rock epic balladic cut, this has a lot of classic sounds and even a little prog. It’s a real powerhouse that features some killer instrumental interplay.
Whiskey Man (Live)
Here’s the first of several live Hatchet classics. This is delivered with style and comes complete with harmonica. It’s always been a classic southern rocker and is one most people have heard. So, here’s a live take on it.
Beatin' the Odds (Live)
Another of Molly Hatchet’s best known pieces, this is also another killer live performance.
Dreams I'll Never See (Live)
Here’s another live tune that should be familiar to most listeners. It’s another smoking hot live rendition, too.
The Creeper (Live)
A slow, hard rocking southern rock tune, this is bluesy and very cool. We get some killer guitar soloing on this piece.
Flirtin' with Disaster (Live)
Arguably the best known tune by Molly Hatchet, this has a parental advisory on the opening declaration and closing spoken bit. Otherwise it’s a high energy rendition of a familiar number.
Sacred Ground (Previously Unreleased)
As the parenthetical on the title suggests, this is a previously unreleased Molly Hatchet tune. It’s a screaming hot rocker that is another that combines classic southern rock with metal in fine fashion.
 
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