This will sound like nothing you have ever listened to on a SATAN MADE ME DO IT episode. Basically at some point, after starting to develop an interest in country music, we noticed that country and metal approaches shared some similarities. After we came to listen to some of the stuff Hank Williams 3 was doing, crossing over country with metal and hardcore punk (he’s the self crowned “King of Hellbilly”), we felt curious and decided to find out if more interesting stuff was being done on this field. Well, to make a long story short, there is not a lot of stuff being done. Mainly, there is not a lot of GOOD stuff being done. Either because they’re gimmicky, not very talented or just because, beyond the Southern Rock that’s already been there for decades, the Christian fundamentalism of America’s Bible Belt could never really get in bed with the soundtrack to Hell, but that’s the truth.
We decided to go through with this anyway, and actually we like the result. This is not strictly “country”. Expect to find anything that sounds a bit western, a bit outlaw, a bit redneck and very… white. Expect also to find a lot of stand-alone side-projects and a lot of references to Hank Williams 3 (son of country legends Hank Williams Sr. and Hank Williams Jr. and a country star himself, albeit an unconventional one). As for SATAN MADE ME DO IT, we will consider this episode as some sort of a side-project too. So don’t worry: on October 3rd we’ll be back with more GRUESOME METAL!
PLAY IT LOUD!
Click for show notes and a complete tracklist.
Anthrax members and ex-members were involved in all sorts of side-projects and collaborations, especially in the 80s, mixing genres from metal to funk, rap, hardcore punk or the skate culture (little did they know they would in some way contribute to spawn that musical aberration called nu-metal). Extra Hot Sauce was such a project, from ex-Anthrax (and ex-S.O.D., Nuclear Assault and Brutal Truth) bassist Dan Lilker. Dan seemed to enjoy “politically incorrect” crossover projects (most likely the fruit of some intoxicating parties), and it doesn’t really surprises that this one off hardcore project comes out with a sort of a drunken white noise attitude. Dan sits on the drums on this one.
Moving on. Apart from Hank Williams III (aka Hank3), Pantera seem to be the other guys interested in associating metal and hardcore to a more southern feeling. While frontman Phil Anselmo was having fun with Hank3 on side-projects Arson Anthem and Superjoint Ritual (add Southern Isolation to that), the other Pantera members, lead by late guitarist Dimebag Darrell, were exploring the similarities between country and metal with Rebel Meets Rebel, a collaboration with outlaw country luminary David Allan Coe. “Nothing to Lose” is the groundbreaking, infectious proof (along with the rest of the album) to what could be achieved. This so good and makes so much sense! The album was released a couple of years after Dimebag’s murder and, again, Hank3 provides vocals for one song. The guy is everywhere!
He’s, for instance, on our next track, doing everything from playing instruments to producing, under the moniker Assjack. This is a crazy redneck mix of hardcore, death metal, industrial and Hank’s typical hellbilly attitude, clocking just over 30 minutes.
Now this is where this episode starts to really sidetrack from the SATAN MADE ME DO IT’s usual platter of cold-served extreme metal. Playing bass for Hank3 (and in fact for Assjack live sets) was Kentucky’s Joe Buck. This is his solo project, “a bona fide evil motherfucking, one man band” with a unique blend of hellbilly punk rock” not suitable for grandmas (his words). Just Google “joe buck yourself”, he looks insane. A “Sick Fucker” indeed.
“That’s right. I’ve killed women and children. I’ve killed just about everything that walks or crawled at one time or another. And I’m here to kill you, Little Bill, for what you did to Ned”. That’s from Clint Eastwood’s “Unforgiven”, girls and boys. Just one of the best movie lines EVER! Don’t know what we’re talking about? GO WATCH IT, YOU PUNKS!
Now we’re into deep country territory. The funny thing about Doc Holliday (other than being named after the legendary Tombstone’s gunfighter) is that these guys from Georgia at one point toured with… Black Sabbath! Ah ah, so you see, there’s some sort of weird metal connection here. Sort of… But listen, this is a great song. A grower, believe us. Even If it makes seem that whiskey and cocaine are something deserving to be saved from with a little help from our friend Jesus.
Next one on the bill is southern rock legends Lynyrd Skynyrd. First track from first album. We’re not bothering to talk much about these guys. They’re pretty famous and they’re responsible for one of the most hideous songs ever (I’m looking at you, “Sweet Home Alabama”). “Freebird” is cool though. Basically they’re the embodiment of all things one could care or hate about southern rock (and the whole American South, for that matter) and they had to be here.
Hogjaw are a relatively unknown, relatively new band of gun loving-hunting freaks-rednecks from Arizona performing a harder, more “metal” southern rock influenced by classic acts such as Molly Hatchet or the Outlaws (which, by the way, we had some trouble keeping out of this episode). It’s ok, but we would keep the horrible female vocals out of this song.
Back to good old-school country with Buck Owens and his Buckaroos (love that and love the name of a TV show he had: “Hee Haw”!). The Louvin Brothers’s “Satan Is Real” this is not, more like a honky tonk feel good dance tune stuff, but it’s cool and we needed a bit of hope just ahead of “Square Bailor”, from another of Hank3 many projects, 3 Bar Ranch. Crazy stuff here, a mix of speed metal with recordings of livestock auctioneers, something that Hank labeled as “cattle core”… Well, if there’s such a thing as cowpunk, you can get away with basically anything.
Now, listen carefully to the next one. Carefully. Hear that? Sounds strange, doesn’t it? Even a bit a bit… un-American, perhaps? Well, that’s because this is from Germany. Yep, “western metal” from Germany. Know what else? This is a side-project from Sodom’s guitarist Alex Kraft. Wasn’t expecting that one? Well, we can tell you right now that we never expected a crossover between spaghetti western and Teutonic thrash when preparing for this episode! Mostly, Dezperadoz are not very good, but we had to have them on this set. Eurotrash-kitsch mood aside (what’s this?!), “Devil’s Horse” is kinda fun, and still with Tom Angelripper performing vocal duties (he would leave the band after this album, their first).
We’re galloping to the sunset now on these “99 Miles of Bad Road”. Eyehategod had to be here. They’re good, and they’re icons of the swampy south of Louisiana, where so much of sludge comes from. We could say they deserve to be here, but “deserve’s got nothing to do with it”.
Last hurrah with The Cramps. Think it’s strange to find the-coolest-band-ever on a western-southern-country-metal themed episode? Don’t. This beautiful and tear-jerking “Lonesome Town” (hey, we have feelings too ok?, metalheads that we are) covers a song first made popular by Ricky Nelson (check him out, guns blazing, on “Rio Bravo” with John Wayne and Dean Martin!). And that’s it.
- Extreme Hatred| Extra Hot Sauce (USA) | Taco of Death, 1988 http://www.discogs.com/Extra-Hot-Sauce-Taco-Of-Death/master/598286
- Nothing to Lose| Rebel Meets Rebel (USA) | Rebel Meets Rebel, 2006 http://www.discogs.com/Rebel-Meets-Rebel-Rebel-Meets-Rebel/master/162892
- Tennessee Driver | Assjack (USA) | Assjack, 2009 http://www.discogs.com/Assjack-Assjack/master/189643
- Sick Fucker | Joe Buck Yourself (USA) | Joe Buck Yourself, 2007 http://www.reverbnation.com/joebuckyourself
- “The Unforgiven” – I, Clint Eastwood, 1992
- Dead Man’s Road | Doc Holliday (USA) | A Better Road, 2001 http://www.discogs.com/Doc-Holliday-A-Better-Road/release/3807346
- I Ain’t the One | Lynyrd Skynyrd (USA) | Pronounced ‘Lĕh-‘nérd ‘Skin-‘nérd, 1973 http://lynyrdskynyrd.com/
- Ol’ Slippery Willie | Hogjaw (USA) | Iron Wood, 2010 http://www.hogjawmusic.com
- Satan’s Got to Get Along Without Me | Buck Owens & His Buckaroos (USA) | Dust On Mother’s Bible, 1966 http://www.buckowens.com/
- Square Bailor | Hank 3’s 3 Bar Ranch (USA) | Cattle Callin’, 2011 http://hank3.com/
- Devil’s Horse | Dezperadoz (GER) | The Dawn of Dying, 2000 http://www.dezperadoz.de/
- 99 Miles Of Bad Road | Eyehategod (USA) | Confederacy of Ruined Lives, 2000 http://www.eyehategod.ee/
- “The Unforgiven” – II, Clint Eastwood, 1992
- Lonesome Town | The Cramps (USA) | Gravest Hits, 1979 http://www.thecramps.com/