We’ve Got Blood on the Toes of our Shoes
Oh man, this one should single-handedly revive the live album as a viable format. The Hangmen get a lot of Stones and AC/DC comparisons thrown in their direction, and they deserve every last one of them. Having practically created cowpunk some ten years ago before vanishing in a haze of label problems, they resurfaced a couple of years ago on the small Acetate imprint as a more vital band than ever before, with the excellent Metallic I.O.U., which had people everywhere falling over themselves in praise. No wonder, this is country rock the way it was meant to be played, with a snotty grin and an arrogant snarl, like Johnny Rotten and Johnny Cash jamming together, or Mick Jagger fronting The Hellacopters.
Old and new tracks combine to make up an amazing set-list for this album, and the band is in fine form throughout and deliver one stupendous performance after the other, complete with the “one, two, fuck you” count-ins. Rawk 101. Knowing when to hold back and when to let loose, The Hangmen have a brilliant understanding of pop dynamics and a natural cool about them. What’s most striking, however, is the fact that they write some absolutely amazing songs, more diverse than their sound might imply. Unafraid of taking it down if that’s what it takes, they can come up with a song like the intense, moving “Bent” — a classic in the making — as well as churn out the insistent “Desperation Town.”
Basic but unique and thrilling country punk, this is The Hangmen at their best, caught on a great day, and proving why they are the best band doing this kind of thing right now. Exhilarating.
Acetate Records: http://www.acetate.com