Best in Show, the seventh studio album from chainsaw-loving, southern rock veterans Jackyl, is as refreshingly unpretentious as it is willfully juvenile, offering up 11 slabs of ribs that are hardly fall-off-the-bone tender, but still require a bib. Unapologetically lewd and loud, the Kennesaw, Georgia quartet owe more than a little tip of the hat to venerable blue collar bar rockers like Ted Nugent, ZZtop, and AC/DC. Lyrically, it's the latter act's classic sex romp "You Shook Me All Night Long" that flavors Best in Show's most titillating cuts, a few of which, like "Encore (It Makes My Bic Dig Her") and "Better Than Chicken," the latter of which informs the listener (a great number of times) that the protagonist likes "poontang better chicken," are so winningly dumb, that it's hard not to want to crack open a Tall Boy and scream along with them. Other cuts like "Horns Up," "Walk My Mile," and the ballsy title track sport a dense, homespun sheen that suggests a lost, good-old-boy weekend that someone miraculously remembered to record, a notion that is backed up further by the inclusion of a pair of covers, Dr. Hook & the Medicine Show's "Cover of the Rolling Stone" and Run-D.M.C.'s "It's Tricky," which may have been better off left in the tool shed. That said, Jesse James Dupree and company know exactly what their fans want from them, and the words "subtle" and "cerebral" simply do not apply.
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Review by James Christopher Monger