Hank3 / Hank Williams III

A Fiendish Threat

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Hank Williams III may be the grandson of Hank Williams and the son of Hank Williams, Jr., and therefore welcome to a page in the history of country music, but he either wants more pages in that book or no pages at all, and in truth, he probably doesn't care at all. Hank3, as he prefers to call himself, began his career as a musician as a drummer in punk bands, and this set, released the same day as the more country (and by country, that means country compared to this) album Brothers of the 4X4, is exactly that, stripped-down, clattering cowboy thrash punk -- with very little cowboy. The opener, "Can I Rip U," is a blast of clattering garage punk, while "Broke Jaw" gallops along in the same manner. "Feel the Sting" rides a blistering, manic fiddle riff, and so things go through the 13 tracks here, almost everything in the same frantic tempo. Does it work? Yeah, it works for what it is, but it sure isn't country. It's more like a high-speed car wreck, which isn't necessarily a bad thing, at least not in Hank3's eyes. He once put out an album of field recordings of cattle auctioneers backed by music, beats, and rhythms, turning the auction calls into a weird sort of cowboy rap. This guy's a maverick, which isn't a bad trait for a musician, unless one wants to find steady work in Nashville. Hank3 obviously could care less about that.

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