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Nine Pound Hammer Kentucky Breakdown

By Frank Meyer, Contributing Editor
Tuesday, June 1, 2004 @ 12:04 AM


(Acetate)

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Fans of Nashville Pussy know that frontman Blaine Cartwright came from another kick ass Southern rock boogie outfit, Nine Pound Hammer. This mean 'n' nasty four piece found Cartwright on guitar while monster thug-hick Scott Luallen assumed vocal duties (and some tasty geetar too) in the form of a much more countrified, stripped down, psychobilly sound. If Nashville Pussy are cleansing their pallets with AC/DC and Rose Tattoo, then NPH pick their teeth with Hank Williams, Johnny Cash, Jason and the Scorchers and, of course, the almighty Motorhead. In other words, fans of Reverend Horton Heat may dig this, but they best be warned -- this is much cruder, cruddier, all over nastier stuff, and may scare ya once and awhile.

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Well, never one to let a week go by without rockin', Cartwright got his band of merry pranksters back together again for a series of live shows and this here album while the Pussy was taking a break between, and reinvigorated the Hammers long enough to get them back on the live circuit to promote it. Kentucky Breakdown might be a reunion album of sorts, but make no mistake about it, these fuckers ain't lost an ounce of their piss, power and rage.

From the breakneck openers, "Rub Yer Daddy's Lucky Belly" and "He Done Run Outta Worms," you know these boys ain't fuckin' around and this is on some hillbilly death trip type shit. Sounds like these hellhounds drink gasoline and shit nails to me! Songs like "Dead Dog Highway" and "Zebra Lounge" tell detailed stories of life on the run, riding down the highway, and just generally being a badass. "Drunk Tired & Mean" is hard rockin' anthem if ever there was one, and "Don't Remember Lovin' You Last Night" is a not-so-tender ode to a one night stand (complete with '80s references to Motley Crue and Judas Priest). Cartwright takes the vocals reigns for the hilarious "Chicken Hi, Chicken Lo" and Johnny Cash's "If You Want To Get To Heaven" is given the balls to the wall hard rock work out it so deserves. Yes, nary an ass is left unkicked on this here platter…

Despite the band's raw sound, Kentucky Breakdown has terrific production, courtesy of Dave Barrick, who captures their loud and proud live attack in all of it's glory, yet gives them enough twang and breathing room to assure the little bit country ain't sucked out of the little bit of rock 'n' roll. All in all, a mighty fine mess.

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