Various Artists

God Less America

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Hats off to the bent folks at Crypt for unearthing some of the most primal and hilariously horrifying country & western songs recorded between 1955 and 1966. God Less America is not for the faint of heart and can only be compared to Leon Payne's mental illness opus "Psycho." Listening to these 15 tracks, you have to ask yourself why Horace Heller went to the trouble of releasing a song like "Ed's Place," which opens with the sound of a gun blast, revealing a jealous man who has just shot his wife at the local waterin' hole. What follows is a monologue taking the listener through his ensuing confusion and realization of the murder he has just committed. Or, in the case of "Please Don't Go Topless Mother" by youngster Troy Hess, a boy despairs over his single mother's topless go-go dancing occupation in order to support her son. It's hard to suppress a guilty laugh when he whines the lines, "Please don't go topless mother/My friends won't come to see me anymore/But their daddies do." This earnestly warbled plea by the young'un features the kind of syrupy country & western instrumental sludge one might expect to hear played between just those types of shows where mom bares it all. Did these would-be country crooners really think these tales of American debauchery could have made it into the jukeboxes of honky-tonks throughout this great land? The probable answer is yes, and that's what makes God Less America so fascinating and somewhat scary.

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