Foggy Mountain Anarchy

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The second album from Killbilly, the world's foremost purveyors of "heavy metal bluegrass," Foggy Mountain Anarchy reveals a band that has become significantly more confident and aggressive since its first disc. While before it seemed as if Killbilly's metal elements were primarily comprised of the band's name, wardrobe, and the fact that it had a drum kit, here the group more convincingly integrates the attitude and musical flavors of heavy music into itsbluegrass. Most of the material is first-rate, particularly the opening track, "Mountain Dew or Die," which is a furiously high-octane tribute to the virtues of good country livin'. For those in doubt, by the way, the group really does rock, playing straight bluegrass tunes with a reckless abandon worthy of the bassist's G.G. Allin T-shirt. Luckily, however, Killbilly isn't a one-trick pony, as there are bits of subtlety and pathos among the madness. "Heaven Is a Small Town" is a standout in this regard, with a gentle alt-country lilt that recalls the best work of Wilco. That said, the album's most obvious highlight is a supercharged reading of '80s punk group Hüsker Dü's Zen Arcade classic, "Hare Krsna." Foggy Mountain Anarchy should appeal to bluegrass fans who wonder why new groups haven't been able to match the intensity of the genre's creators, as well as adventurous rockers in the mood for a hoedown.

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