Hayseed Dixie

Weapons of Grass Destruction

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Hayseed Dixie established their gimmick on their debut album, in which they covered ten AC/DC tunes in bluegrass style, and five albums later they haven't gone out of their way to mess with their formula. Released in 2007, Weapons of Grass Destruction features the band bringing the twang to another batch of unlikely covers, running the gamut from the Beatles to Turbonegro, with the Scissor Sisters, the Sex Pistols, and Judas Priest sitting somewhere in between. However, the band has written four original songs to pad out the 11 covers on display, and while "She Was Skinny When I Met Her" suggests this is at best a mixed blessing, the genuinely funny road story of "The Rider Song" proves Hayseed Dixie can get laughs with their own material when they put their minds to it. The covers break little if any new ground, though Francis Rossi sits in with the band for a rendition of Status Quo's "Down Down," and if Hayseed Dixie don't deliver the sort of power or manic drive that the Bad Livers, Split Lip Rayfield, or the acoustic Supersuckers brought to similarly themed material, they pick with clean strength and their sense of showmanship manages to communicate well in the studio. It's rather impressive that Hayseed Dixie, who seemed like a one-joke band if there ever were such a thing, are still wringing laughs out of said joke this far down the line, and while this is hardly essential stuff, if you ever wanted to hear a version of "Strawberry Fields Forever" that quotes "Cotton Eyed Joe," you need look no further than Weapons of Grass Destruction.

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