Bourbon Boys
Hail To The Chief

1. Hail to the Chief
2. 4X4
3. Remington Magnum Express
4. Son of the North
5. Taxman
6. Don't Tread On Me
7. Broken Badboy Blues
8. Proud to be a Redneck
9. To Hell and Back
11.The Viper
12.Dust and Dieselsmoke
13.Keep Driving

Hulkoff (Guitars & Vocals)
Jonas Kjellgren (Guitars)
Kenneth Seil (Bass)
Matt Buffalo (Drums & Percussion)

Shotguns, Trucks & Cattle (2013)



Released 2012-09-25
Reviewed 2013-10-24


With all the members of Raubtier present in Bourbon Boys, one could easily be fooled to believe that this would be something pretty similar to Raubtier but that's quite far from what this is. Bourbon Boys is a rockabilly-ish country smelling hillbilly rock band that celebrates rednecks and apparently also indians, at least if you're going by the album title (all though the expression "hail to the chief" normally is intended to the American president and not native American chiefs').

This is the second Bourbon boys album and the first one was also released this year. The band, however, has played together for a long time - even longer than the sibling band Raubtier which have released three albums. This second album has something very uncomplicated written all over it. They make music that has a twinkle in the eye while singing about serious subjects (mostly political stuff). Most of the time they succeed with it. But sometimes it just gets very silly.

The music is built from a simple framework with lots of high distorted guitars going in true country spirit and to make the illusion complete they even use instruments common for that genre - like harmonica, banjo and stuff like that. I'm clearly more acquainted with hard rock than country so you'll have to excuse me for not giving a better description than that the music sounds like country mostly does. Some sort of mix between depressive content and perky, almost upbeat music. The tempo, however, is neither fast or slow - it's kind of like country usually is, perhaps somewhat heavier than it usually is but still like a country rock band that shouldn't have any problems getting fans from either normal country or "less heavy" country rock. The music is well made, well played and well produced, and even the lyrics are cunning so what more is there to wish for?

Well, personally I'd like to see some more identity present in the music. Now they have pretty different vocals compared to most country and country rock but that kind of is everything. The vocals are sung like if Hulkoff were biting his jaws together as hard as he possibly could and throat sung the words by forcing it from the bottom of the glottis. He's not doing this in all 13 tracks on the album, which is fortunate as that would definitely made these 49 minutes less bearable by quite a lot. Another thing that bother me is the silliness I mentioned earlier. The thing is that they seem to forget them selves sometimes while propagating their political agenda and unfortunately it compromise the music when they do that. Last of all there's the problem with monotony… 'Hail To The Chief' basically has the same sound, tempo and song style all over the album. Not that all tracks sounds the same but very little surprises you on the journey.

The biggest plus from me goes to the production side of 'Hail To The Chief'. The sound quality is world class and so is the overall sound. Everything sounds so expensive that it deserves our money, regardless wether we like the music or not - the production is so good that at least we get a quality product when buying the album. Sure, the album is somewhat alike all over and the vocals are not perfect but there aren't any major flaws on the album. Nothing stands out as really bad and there are no tracks where you just wonder what the hell they were thinking or anything like that. 'Hail To The Chief' really feels like a solid, elaborate piece of music and even if you're not 100% sold on the whole country rock thing I think there are a good chance you'll like some of the album anyway. My favorites are Remington Magnum Express and the concluding Keep Driving, but as I've said there are no tracks that are particularly different from the rest.

A good album overall but some minor set backs leaves 'Hail To The Chief' in the middle of our scale. However, I really think it deserves to be given a chance!



Label: Despotz/Triada
Three similar bands: Brad Paisley/Brian Setzer/Hank Williams
Rating: HHHHHHH (4/7)
Reviewer: Caj Källmalm

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