The award for being the best band to imitate Molly Hatchet is....Molly Hatchet. On this 25th Anniversary re-recording of the band's biggest hits -- and best tracks from each of their albums, from their self-titled debut to Lightning Strikes Twice -- the current incarnation of MH, led by guitarist and producer Bobby Ingram, offers startlingly faithful reads of the original band's material. What makes this so unique is that there are no original members of MH in this lineup, and singer Phil McCormack sounds so much like founding vocalist Danny Brown it's almost scary. Admittedly, with this description, it is tempting to write the Hatch off without a listen, but that would be a mistake. These are not reinterpretations of the classics, nor are they toothless renderings. The big, roaring guitars that sound like chainsaws in the Everglades are abundant, trashy, full of loud and proud rowdiness that makes Southern Rock so singular in both its excesses and in its battered, drunken heart. Given how much a part of rock & roll history these songs are, it is unfair and unwarranted to compare these versions with the original performances. The way in which an album like this makes the most sense -- especially given that this is a wholly different band -- is to hear these as covers. And as covers, these versions burn. The hell-raising, balls-to-the-wall emotion in them is everywhere evident, and if anything, they are more adrenaline-infused, the guitars -- as big as they were on the originals -- are dwarfed by the ferocious razored roar of these. This is a credible outing and Hatchet fans will be delighted. As for everyone else, if this isn't your thing, you are unlikely to be converted. If you are at all a hard rock or biker band fan, this will rock your socks off.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek