Montgomery-Gentry have been through a lot in the last year, particularly Eddie Montgomery. In September of 2010, the band parted company with longtime label Sony Music Nashville. In December, Montgomery underwent surgery for prostate cancer. That same month, his wife of 20 years filed for divorce. Rebels on the Run, helmed by producer Michael Knox, was recorded in the aftermath of all this, and released within a year on the pair's indie imprint Average Joe's Entertainment. The two are well-known for electrifying live shows and hard-rocking singles that straddle the line between volume-cranking, hard Southern rock and contemporary country's obsession with '70s and '80s pop. Of the 11 new songs here, there are a slew of over-the-top rockers, including the album-opening anthem "Damn Right I Am," "So Called Life," and the closer, "Work Hard, Play Harder." "Simple Things" uses the same electric guitar that marked John Mellencamp's '80s records. Of course there are a couple contemporary country-pop/rockers that are standard fare, including "Damn Baby," the good-time paeans "Ain't No Law Against That," the title track, and the single "Where I Come From." There is also a pair of ballads in "Missing You" and "Empty" -- the latter cops the opening phrase from Curtis Mayfield's "People Get Ready" note for note. Rebels on the Run fits together quite well as an album, and there are numerous cuts here to be chosen for second and even third singles -- including the truly awful "I Like Those People," with guests Charlie Daniels and Randy Owen -- it's pure radio schmaltz with the now de rigeur "just us country folks" theme. The drums actually sound like drums -- unusual for an album in this genre -- and while the guitars are overly compressed, they still give the illusion of sounding somewhat ragged. That said, Rebels on the Run is the most consistent offering from Montgomery-Gentry since 2006's Some People Change, even if it doesn't quite scale those heights.
AllMusic Review by Thom Jurek