"Artimus Pyledriver" (DRT Entertainment; 2006)

Reviewed by Ray Van Horn, Jr. 

One thing I've been quite happy to see in this metal revival scene is a return to blues-based sweathog rock, the kind of grimy stuff you want to get your tool glistened to by the neighborhood skank, because it's worth the filth and maybe the inevitable herpes. Atlanta may be a weird city (try getting out of Turner Field after a Braves game), and a lot of young screaming metalcorers may be dominating the heavy scene, but then again, you have the titanic Mastodon and one of my favorite rebel yellers, Nashville Pussy, and -- like a sucker shot to the cranium with a bottle of Kentucky Gentleman -- Artimus Pyledriver punches it out loud and proud ... so loud, in fact, that even Molly Hatchet has to applaud these guys.

Maybe it's the smoke-choked vocals of Dave Slocum that gives Brian Johnson a good run or maybe it's the unashamed loudness of this band: the abusive drumming, the grinding fuck grooves and the greasy guitars from Damon Goldsmith and Jimmy Hall, but goddamn, put Artimus Pyledriver on a bill with Alabama Thunderpussy and their actual future tour mates Slunt and let's call it an event! 

Opening with the catchy "Swamp Devil," Artimus Pyledriver gets nastier on each subsequent track like "Gone to the Mountain," "High Life" and "Dixie Fight Song." Like Dirty Rig or even Dirty Americans, these guys play rough and tumble with a gnawed tongue in cheek and a pair of brass knuckles in the back pocket just itching to come out and play. This is what Ted Nugent used to sound like, no disrespect intended. This is what Dangerous Toys captured so well in the eighties and were pushed aside after a brief glimpse at success. Artimus Pyledriver is just one malicious rocking bastard -- as if "Dirt Road White Girl" isn't sufficient enough proof. 

Do yourself a favor; when you're driving down the neighborhood street cranking your tunes to piss off the neighbors, be original and do it with Artimus Pyledriver. A primo choice would be either "Natural Progression" or "Shaggin' Ass." The looks you get from your neighbors will speak as vociferously as the music.

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Rating Guide:

A classic. This record will kick your ass.

Killer. Not a classic but it will rock your world.

So-so. You've heard better.

Pretty bad. Might make a nice coaster.

Self explanatory. Just the sight of the cover makes you wanna hurl.

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Copyright ? 2006 by R. Scott Bolton. All rights reserved.