posted on 6/2006 By:
If you instantly recognized the Lynyrd Skynyrd reference in Artimus Pyledriver’s name, chances are you’re the type that’s likely to be interested in checking out their brand of raucous redneck rock, which the band says bridges the gap between Black Flag and David Allen Coe. I’ve gotta say, these guys spread the whole hillbilly image thing on pretty thick, and it kinda feels like all that confederate flag waving is not purely for pride, but also for attention seeking. I’m in no position to assess the authenticity of all this (and don't care to), but they sure do market the shit out of it. All the talk on their MySpace page about the General Lee and how “when they sing about fishing in the river, it’s because sometimes that was the only place they could get their next meal” feels a little overdone and cartoonish. The band talks about having sprung from the same Atlanta scene as Mastodon, but make themselves sound like holler-dwelling cousins. What’s that movie where Patrick Swayze bussed in his freaky-ass, snake handling redneck relatives to help him fight the bad guys? Anyway, the irony here is that all this hyperbole seems to be for the purpose of celebrating the south and assuring the listener that Artimus Pyledriver walks the talk. And all that talking aside, when they get down to business these fuckers rock, so I don’t care if they live in a trailer park or a patio home.
Artimus Pyledriver’s debut album is the kind of listen that’ll make you consider growing a mullet and mounting a gun rack in your Mazda, and even as you’re fully aware at the ridiculousness of the idea, the vibe this album puts off is so rowdy, so sleazy, so unabashedly redneck, that it’s hard to not just crank it up and let loose. The band’s whiskey soaked anthems to the live free and play hard, working class South are equal parts defiant rebellion and Dixie celebration. Frontman Dave Slocum sounds like a moonshine swilling Brian Johnson, which suits the bands’ hybrid sound (they call it “Southern stomp-ass”), culled from bluesy hard rock, sludge and traces of hardcore. The songs are mid or uptempo dirty and loose shout-alongs that live and die by the thick grooves and truckload of twin guitar melodies that provide the soul for Slocum’s vitriol. The vocals are too high in the mix, and are sometimes technically limited, but win you over with their blue collar ethic and balls out passion. The band alternates between fist pumping, beer swilling mid-tempo dirtbag boogie (“Dixie Fight Song”, “Up the Creek”) and mean-drunk rambunctiousness (“Gone to the Mountain”). On songs like “Get Some” Artimus Pyledriver take southern-fried Sabbath riffs, as pulled forward by Down and Corrosion of Conformity, and transition into spacious, down-home exaltations. I could go on, but by now it should be pretty easy to tell what you’re buying, or not buying, with this band’s debut. I recommend that you be in the camp of the former, if you’re at all into this sound. A perfect good time album for the scorching summer.
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