The Smokin' Armadillos' debut is pumped-up country music with a heavy lean toward power rock influences. This sextet from Bakersfield -- ranging in age from 19-26 -- plays with an unbridled enthusiasm that serves the material well. Nine of the 12 tracks were written by the band, and most of them are driven by the burning championship fiddle playing of the youngest Armadillo, Jason Theiste. Although none of the tracks here are likely to change the world, original songs like "Thump Factor" and "Too Hot to Handle" exude a youthful charm and show some songwriting potential. Southern rock king Charlie Daniels makes an appearance on a cover of his spooky '70s hit "The Legend of Wooley Swamp," and the boys include reworked versions of a couple of their independent singles -- the ones that started all the commotion. "My Girlfriend Might" is a catchy, lighthearted tune, but the country rap and probable live favorite, "I'm a Cowboy," borders on the ridiculous. But hey, these guys are still young.
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AllMusic Review by Jack Leaver