Monday, August 17, 2009

Assjack - s/t


As probably most every reprobate knows, Hank Williams III has led a double musical life, with one face in the stripped-to-the-bone country & western of his grandpappy’s legacy and the other in the vein-popping punk metal of his youth. (And both faces sporting wild-eyed sneers.) Assjack is his first widely available disk devoted to the latter, named for the band he uses on stage (but not in the studio, preferring to blast away by himself) to hammer that shit into unsuspecting audiences’ ear-holes. III’s always had a mean-eyed cat side to him; on cuts like Choking Gesture, Redneck Ride and Tennessee Driver, that feline leaps on your fact, clawing, spitting and biting your eyebrows off. His cowboy hat flying off his head, III thrashes away with gleeful abandon, throwing fierce metal riffs, powerhouse drumming (the record’s greatest strength – Lars Ulrich better watch his back) and his southern-fried, F-bomb-laden yowl around like the Hulk shotputting boulders. It could all be an exercise in solipsistic dilletantism, but it makes me thrash my head back and forth, pump my fist, play air drums ‘n’ geetar and even mosh around the room. And I never fuckin’ mosh. Assjack ain’t the C&W/death metal fusion III’s been threatening for years, but it’s what I always wished Pantera had sounded like.

- Michael Toland

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