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Alabama Thunderpussy Staring At The Divine

By Peter Atkinson, Contributor
Tuesday, June 25, 2002 @ 10:48 AM


(Relapse Records)

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A name like Alabama Thunderpussy conjures images of redneck porn, a freakish Howard Stern show guest (a rival of Queen LaQueefa’s perhaps) or some old White Zombie song title about a dirty southern belle. In reality, Alabama Thunderpussy is far less sexy or perverse.

No, Alabama Thunderpussy is, in fact, five backwoods dirtbags (from Richmond, Virginia, no less) who make what they describe as “moonshine metal.” Not sure where the name came from, but it would seem these guys -- several of whom sport some spectacular facial hair -- may have been quaffing some of said white lightning when they were figuring out what to call the band. And the rest, as they say, is history.

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The band’s “moonshine metal,” however, does live up to what one might expect from such a description. Raw, raunchy and jam-laden, Alabama Thunderpussy come across like a concoction of Black Sabbath, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Motorhead -- with a bit of stoner-like sludge thrown in for good measure. Staring At The Divine is the band’s fourth album, and despite a label switch, a spate of recent line-up changes and some studio tweaking that was done after the original recording, it delivers another heaping helping of southern fried bombast. It also has a naked chick on the cover, to salvage a modicum of sexiness.

Staring’s low-end rumble is guaranteed to shake the bowels and there’s enough Paul Bunyan-sized riffs on tracks like “Whore Adore,” “Shape Shifter” and “Esteem Fiend” to satisfy even the most jaded guitar glutton. And Alabama Thunderpussy’s relatively kicked up tempos and cool twin-guitar harmonies make for a nice departure from the usual stoner-rock plod and tedious noodling.

Indeed, for all the hype surrounding Down, Alabama Thunderpussy are harder, meaner and more fun to listen to. Perhaps if Down sticks to Pussy’s studio lubricant Busch beer instead of indulging in whiskey, weed and smack next time and they won’t be so friggin’ boring.

Now signed to Relapse after three releases on the seriously underground Man’s Ruin label, Alabama Thunderpussy should be a little easier to find these days. They might not be much to look at -- unless you like long-ass beards -- but this quintet will definitely rock your world.

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