steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Ramblin' Hellbillies

"Lonesome Road Blues" CDR

Skunkative Records

Genres: country-rock, Southern rock, rockabilly

Dec 16 - 22 2002

Though far from the old "ramblin' cowboys" of the 1920s and 30s, The Ramblin' Hellbillies are an interesting group of country musicians. Their style is much like that of rockabilly bands, with equal portions rock and country, though their heavy use of the whiney slide guitar sets them apart from the rest - and often causes them to rely a bit too heavily on the instrument, causing the music to become cluttered. Though they surely have a number of great ideas, their overall sound needs to be developed a bit more.

The five songs on this disc are all Southern rock-mixed country songs. Sounding a lot like The Supersuckers and Southern Culture on the Skids, except with excess whine guitar, the band often feels unoriginal. Most of the tracks, "Don't Be Surprised" and "Since You've Been Gone," for example, are a bit too familiar, sounding too much like all the other Southern country-rock bands. Meanwhile, the starter, "New Orleans," suffers from too much twang and a poor rhythm section.
The CDR's best asset is definitely "Kaw-Liga," a creative track with a dark, gritty atmosphere that sounds fantastic. It ends the EP perfectly, pleasing the listener with a fresh, catchy sound that is sure to get some smiles.

Altogether, this is a fine effort, though is flawed by the presence of some problematic tracks. Wait for the next release, because with the promise evidenced on these five songs, the band surely has something good coming.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 5 tracks; distributed by the label; released 2002]