Sunday, August 31, 2008
CD Review: Hillbilly Hellcats - Our Brand/Rev It Up With Taz
Hillbilly Hellcats - Our Brand
1998, Rockin' Cat Records
The Hillbilly Hellcats are one of the more interesting bands I've come across this year. The influences you can hear in the music are a virtual who's who of classic rock and roll. The easiest way to describe them is a cross between The Stray Cats and The Traveling Wilburys, with a little Johnny Cash thrown in for good measure. Derivative to the point of originality, there's no one quite like the Hillbilly Hellcats out there right now. Our Brand is a great introduction!
Our Brand opens with Road Rage, an ironic look at dysfunctional road relationships. Everybody There Was Drinkin is a fun tune in the rockabilly tradition. Hillbilly Love is an example of sense of humor of the Hillbilly Hellcats. Be sure to check out Train To Nowhere, which fits into the hybrid Punktry (Punk Country) genre quite nicely. Other highlights include Cats Like Us, Rockabilly Rebel, I Never Thought, Double Time, Better Be Some Drinkin' and My Baby Drives Me Crazy.
Our Brand is classic rockabilly with just a hint of humor. The Hillbilly Hellcats are a very talented trio who manage to take an old genre and make it sound new all over again. I can only imagine what a live show would be like with these guys. Incredible. The Hillbilly Hellcats are definitely a band to watch out for.
Rating: 4 Stars (Out of 5)
Hillbilly Hellcats - Rev It Up With Taz
1996, Rockin' Cat Records
Rev It Up With Taz opens with Hillbillies On Speed, which is punk bluegrass at its absolute finest. White Trash is a nifty tune that combines rockabilly with a Louis Prima style call and response motif. I Like Whiskey is an ode to all substances frowned upon under drugs laws and is quite catchy. Other highlights include My Baby Moved, Crazy Little Baby, Tom Grey's Dream, the politically incorrect Slappin' My Baby Around, Mudflap Baby and the frenetic I Dig Jazz.
There really isn't much here not to like. There is a definite anti-PC vein in the Hillbilly Hellcats' music, and that may offend some, but it's really all tongue in cheek. This is a great party record, or great for listening to you when you want to be inspired to get up and go. Rev It Up With Taz is definitely worth a listen.
Rating: 4.5 Stars (Out of 5)
You can learn more about the Hillbilly Hellcats at www.myspace.com/hillbillyhellcats. You can purchase a copy of Our Brand at www.cdbaby.com/cd/hellcats2. You can purchase a copy of Rev It Up With Taz at www.cdbaby.com/cd/hellcats.