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Go Like Hell
Hell Bent Rock N Roll
Buttermilk Records

I'm sorry, but the vocalist for this band just annoys the crap out of me, which is a damn shame because the music is excellent. Somewhere between a Social Distortion and Rancid amalgamation, Go Like Hell features ass kicking rock-n-roll backings with a quasi-punk sentiment that does not lack the energy required to stay up all night drinking and bring down the house.

The music is relentless as the drummer sustains an incredible momentum, pounding through the songs, allowing for the guitar and bass to ebb in and out of the space creating a perfect mix. The guitar lines are nicely balanced against each other, showing smart choices as lead and rhythm separate for quick bursts and then reunite to crunch through beefy main lines. The bass guitar is apt, but more of a follower in the melee than a leader.

The vocals are not my cup of tea; she yells with appropriate determination, but in an almost tone-deaf one-dimensional pitch across the entire album, only differentiated by alternating rhythms between songs. You know its pretty sad as a listener when you think the backing vocals add more to the song, and in addition, pray the next song contains them. While I have it out for the lead singer, I do have to admit some of her vocals lines did stick in my head, so she can't be all that bad.
The most punk the band becomes are with their lyrics; they show the correct amount of cynicism and bite, while maintaining the greaser/white-trash feel of the music. "13 Cents" is a brutally accurate reflection of the homeless guy on the corner, and "Dead Man's Hand" lyrically could have been written by any decent punk band out there. Nice job. Now if I could get over my aversion to the lead singer maybe I could deal with such wanna-be-punk statements like her half-hearted "Yeah/I know I'm an asshole" at the end of "Lucky Me". Punk is not a cry for attention.

What else can I say, I loved the music and wished one of the backup vocalists would take over the main responsibilities. I guess it could be worse though; she could come over to my house and quote-unquote sing to me.


Track listing:

1) Lucky Me
2) Los Bastardos
3) 13 Cents
4) Quick Jerkin'
5) Feedbags and Fistfights
6) Eat My Dust
7) Hotter Than Love
8) Go Like Hell
9) Blindsided
10) Hell to Pay
11) Dead Mans Hand
12) Acute Denial
13) Take a Letter Maria

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