If you didn’t ever think you would hear a heavy metal guitar solo in a country song, the title track from Hank Williams III’s Rebel Within will blow your mind. On an album full of songs about booze, whores, getting drunk and getting high, some fret board fireworks aren’t as out of place as you might think.
This opus of neotraditional country features traditional country instrumentation for the most part, with the exception of the guitar solos, and lyrics that reject the imagery of typical Top 40 country. For example, the first track is titled “Getting Drunk And Fallin’ Down,” the fifth “Drinkin’ Ain’t Hard To Do,” number six “Moonshiner’s Life,” and the finale, track 11, “Drinkin’ Over Mama.”
Former bassist for Phil Anselmo’s Superjoint Ritual and founding member of hardcore punk band, Assjack, Hank III’s image should come as no surprise. It’s worth noting, however that not all songs on this record are tongue-in-cheek. “#5” deals with heroine addition and friends of Williams’ who have been hurt by addiction and “Karmageddon” which seems to be a plea of forgiveness to those who he has wronged.
The second to last track “Tore Up And Loud”, a highlight for the headbanger in me, features the “hellbilly” style Hank III is known for. It is a hectic fusion of country and bluegrass with heavy metal riffs and a throbbing double bass beat, complete with a furious breakdown, at the end of which William’s exclaims “Fuck all y’all!”
All things considered this record is a lot of fun. From the capricious anti-pop country, to the somber bluegrass and the flashes of heavy metal fury, you will completely forget why you hate country music.