Sunday, January 22, 2012

I Can Lick Any Sonofabitch In The House - Menace (2002)

These Portland shitkickers mine the same southern rock goldmine as the Drive-by Truckers, although being from the Pacific North-West they're understandably less interested in myth and tradition than the Truckers (though thankfully much more likely to goose their tunes with punk rock irreverence). So while the epic heaviness of songs like "Dust And Sun", "Fall Down", and "Pauline" could form the basis of their own Northern Rock Opera, tracks like the profane "Westboro Baptist Church" and the steamrolling "Gone" are closer in spirit to Mojo Nixon than Lynyrd Skynyrd. It's a good mix, to my ears, both fun and thoughtful without sacrificing anything in either direction. These are some good ol' boys capable of tolerance and introspection, bringing some dignity back to the term redneck, and having a blast while they do it. When vocalist Mike D. commands "C'mon y'all, let's fuck the president!" in a voice that lands squarely between Mojo's rasp and a swamp frog's croak, it's as much a gesture of solidarity with gays and lesbians as it is a fun call to arms against Bush 43. And on top of everything else, they may possess the best band name of all time.

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