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Non-Prog CD Reviews

Nine Pound Hammer

When the Sh*t Goes Down

Review by Gary Hill

This band is part of a wave of cow-punk bands. For those who aren't familiar, it means a merging of country music and punk, but you can probably figure that out. This album is a strong release. There are a couple songs that don't work as well for me, but overall it's a winner with a lot of solid music and some moments of brilliance.  Note that the edit in the title of the album is theirs but you can see that in the cover art. The edit on the song is not theirs, and is strictly for the online version of the article and is not present in the print edition. That said, I only mentioned it once, but several tracks get at least some minor parental advisories for their lyrics.

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Track by Track Review
What Kind Of God
There is a "Looney Tunes" clip to start this cut. They launch out into some driving powerhouse punk rock as the band take over. This is a great opener. It has a lot of energy, and some killer punk guitar soloing.
When The Sh*t Goes Down
Some almost AC/DC like guitar riffing gets this one underway. The track pounds out from there with a lot of power and style. It has some serious country angles via the vocals.
A Girl Like That
No big changes, this seems closer to the raw punk energy of the opener. It's a fun stomper.
Drunks, Babies, And Fools
With a bit of a down-home rock and roll sound in the mix, this hard rocker is perhaps a bit less punk and more mainstream. Still, it has a  punk DIY edge.
Street Chicken
Much meaner and more furious, there is a real stoner metal feeling to this cut. It makes me think of Clutch just a little. The verses have distorted, slightly distant vocals, like through a speaker or megaphone. The chorus hook is punky and very catchy. This is definitely one of the strongest pieces here.
Legged Dope
Now, this tune is goofy. It has a bit of a Georgia Satellites thing going on. The country angle is in power over the top of a stripped back rocking guitar arrangement. As strong as the last tune was, I'd consider this one a real miss. They go from a high point of the album to the lowest one. This has some charms, but doesn't gel all that well for me.
Mama Lied
Now, this rocking romp has a lot of country in the mix, too, but it's more effective than the song that preceded it. In fact, this really is a down-home country tune with a more rocking chorus. This is also so much fun. It's another highlight of the album. I really love the country-styled guitar solo and the key change, too.


Billy Lost His Feet
Rockabilly, punk edges and more merge on this screamer. It has a bit of a stoner rock edge. It's also a lot of fun. There is a fairly long sound-bite at the end of this that feels like it comes from a movie, but I'm not sure what movie.
One Last Midnight
There is some horn work in the mix on this, and the cut has a definite country music vibe. It has an arrangement that feels like a stereotypical cowboy soundscape from the 1960s or 1970s. This is another that is a real standout tune.
Get The Hell Off The Farm
Country and punk merge well on this screaming hot rocker. It has some harmonica. It's a stomper, but not a standout by any means. The chorus is a lot of fun, though.
Possum Kickin FSESOB
This cut doesn't work as well as some of the rest. There is just something about it that feels a little off. It does earn a bit of a parental advisory on the lyrics.
Daviess Co Tractor Massacre
Now, this powerhouse rocker is more like it. I love the slide guitar. The screaming country punk vocals work well, and the whole tune just stomps like crazy.
Lizard Brain
This is much more of a pure punker. It even works toward the hardcore end of the spectrum at times. There is still a slight country angle to it, though. While this is a little uneven, I still like it a lot.
Best Of All Possible Worlds
County and punk merge well on this cover of a Kris Kristofferson song. The tune works pretty well, but it's not a standout.
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