Usually, when a rock drummer steps out from behind the kit to assume the forefront as a solo artist, it means it's time for fans to run for cover. However, this is certainly not the case with ex-Lynyrd Skynyrd timekeeper Artimus Pyle. It's been a cushy 24 years between Pyle's last solo studio set and the arrival of Artimus Venomus -- but the wait has been worth it. In fact, Pyle's 2007 solo set is arguably the strongest and most Skynyrd-sounding of any of the countless albums that the reunited Skynyrd -- and it's various members' solo albums -- have issued in the wake of Street Survivors. With Pyle having penned or co-penned the majority of the songs (and also handling most of the lead vocals, as well), the album is certainly one of the quirkiest Skynyrd-related releases yet, as evidenced by such tracks as "Blood Sucking Weasel Attorneys" (which begins with brief Frank Zappa-esque dialogue) and "Dead Rock Stars' Widows, Gigolos, Pocket Money." But musically, longtime Skynyrd fans will have plenty to sink their teeth into -- it's all lean, mean Southern boogie throughout, especially the Allman Brothers-esque "Brother Walk On By" and the mean blues of the album-opening title track. If you call yourself a Skynyrd fan, you owe it to yourself to check out this surprisingly strong release by one of the wildest characters to ever pass through the Skynyrd ranks.
AllMusic Review by Greg Prato