Various Artists

Dropped on the Head, Vol. 1

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Those music fans who like their honky tonk with an extra helping of hill and a side order of billy could have done a whole lot worse than the sh*tkicking first Dropped on the Head compilation. It inaugurated what promised to be an invigoratingly trashy series: garish and gauche, cholesterol-coated, diesel-guzzling, hot-roddin' punk country for the fuzzy-tongued, tattoo-hearted, wrong-side-of-the-Mason-Dixon delinquent in us all. This second volume in the series still has its fill of trucker rock (Shot to Hell, the Sindys, Chopper), Cramps-style thrashabilly (Jonee Earthquake Band, White Trash Debutantes), and straight punk (Hellroute 16, Somebody & the Somethings, the Load Levelers), so "trashy" still manages to describe the collection quite nicely. On the other hand, at least half the album opts out of the Southern ghetto and settles itself into a delightfully campy, unpredictable romp: Milo arouses the ghost of Bobby "Boris" Pickett on the un-spooky kitsch "Minimalist," Cooterfinger's booming "Anita Is My Girlfriend" is something akin to Jon Spencer Blues Explosion on a mixture of quaaludes and whiskey, the Bad Preachers come off like Eddie Cochran's greaser kid sibling sneering a spoof of big bro's "Summertime," the Coffin Bangers do instrumental surf from the dark side of the wave, the Screamin' Mee Mees go B-grade '50s sci-fi on "Mesmerizing Donut Glaze," and the Goblins test the "million instruments for a million chimpanzees" theory on "Monkey Chow." It turns out monkeys can rock, indeed. Add additional metal flourishes here, an overdose of fuzztone there (Marshmallow Overcoat), and you have yourself a rip-roaring roller coaster ride. The glue that holds such a disparate sampling of artists and styles together is the irreverent, wonderfully sophomoric glee of it all. This is another tremendous entertainment.

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