Black Holiday in Mexico City
Shut Eye Records and Agency
I think I’m in love. Hayshaker hails from Waycross, Georgia (Gateway to the Okefenokee Swamp) and consists of husband and wife combo CC and Laurie Rider. Their pedal steel guitar and drum-based alt-country sound combines pop hooks with classic drinking and cheating lyrics. They kick butt right out of the gate with “Laurie’s Song.” The title sounds lame, but the chorus declares “I can always tell when you’ve been drinking” and this recreation draws retribution. Mini guitar and drum solos populate the arrangement, and Laurie Rider’s squeaky soprano vocals pull this song from ho-hum C&W to a truly demonic and destructive love song.
Track two does a quick cut from honky-tonk guitar to heavy metal bombast with the anthem “Into the Snow.” Sounding like Uriah Heep or Spinal Tap, the self-destruction isn’t a cheating man, but a crazy woman and poor health insurance. Fair and Balanced, that’s the motto here. Each song contains a country soul, but they all steal their hairstyles from surf or folk or Zydeco, and each song revels in life’s failings. Hayshaker is a gem, and if you’re sick of that stadium country spectacle where the size of the hat is more important than the music, you’ll regain your faith in pop music with Hayshaker.