Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters
Category: Country / Rock
Album: Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free
Blurb: Full of odes to boozed up bikers and overmedicated rock stars, Al Jourgensen finally releases his country core debut.
When Al Jourgensen disbanded Ministry in 2008, he had stated that he would embark on other projects, hinting at finally releasing new material for his long awaited side projects. Several albums later, many of which bearing the Ministry moniker along with the new lineup of Revolting Cocks, Uncle Al makes good on his promise with the release of Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free, the debut from his country rock moniker of Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters. Those familiar with Jourgensen’s history can rest assured that his particular brand of country seethes with hard rocking attitude as much in line with the down and dirty blues of George Thorogood as with the gritty country of Johnny Cash.
Lyrically, Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free could easily be a tongue-in-cheek biography of Jourgensen’s life when considering his history with drug and alcohol abuse. The chorus for opening track “Quicker than Liquor” simply reeks of the man’s much publicized addictions, yet the song’s upbeat and hardly downtrodden cadence – backed by a subtle beat of an 808 drum machine – belies the dark nature of the lyrics. In this regard, Jourgensen takes a page from Hank Williams, as songs like “The Only Time I’m Sober is When You’re Gone” and “I Hate Every Bone in Your Body Except Mine” possess that quintessential melancholy so intrinsic to the genre, yet hidden beneath a frantic pace and eccentrically distorted tones that never seem to let up. This is until ‘Take Me Away” slows things down for the finish, swaying with the haziness of the neighborhood drunk during last call, yet with the uplifting gospel feel befitting the elegiac tone of the song. Other songs like “What’s Wrong With Me” with its diatribes on simply not fitting into an incomprehensible society or “Ten Long Years in Texas,” which seems to be about Jourgensen’s trials and tribulations with travel and taxes, take a much more somber yet humorous lyrical take on political topics akin to Ministry, while “Sleepless Nights and Bar Room Fights” and “Cheap Wine, Cheap Ramen” sound like the typical reminiscences of just the kind of hard-living rock star we all know Jourgensen to be. Tribute is even paid to Gram Parsons with a scathingly humorous and musically faithful cover of “Drug Store Truck Drivin’ Man.”
With Ministry alumni Mike Scaccia and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen slinging their six-strings, along with contributions from several fiddlers and multi-instrumentalists, Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free is country core as only Al Jourgensen can conceive. Possessing all of the twang-laden tropes of country infused with the raw swagger of boozed up brawlers who just want to rock, Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters are hardly the newest or most original act to come along. As well, the tendency to shout “Go get ‘em” or to simply introduce soloists by name before their moments to shine does get rather repetitive, as does most of the music overall. On the other hand, country music rarely allows for much variety, so credit should go to Uncle Al and company for producing what if nothing else is sure to be an enjoyable ride.
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Ilker Yücel (Ilker81x)