I’ll be honest with y’all. I’ve seen their name around the internets and received numerous suggestions to check ’em out over the past year or so but the band’s name coupled with the album title of Scumbag Country and song titles like “Mickey Meth” I just blew them off as a novelty band at best and raper of the southern image at worst. In other words, I never listened to them and had no real intentions of ever doing so.
Then, somewhere on the way to never, I came across a mention of the band earlier this month by Triggerman (of Saving Country Music), a blogger who’s opinion I don’t always agree with but I do always respect. With that, I begrudgingly decided that this was a band I should at least give an obligatory listen to…
Hellbound Glory comes to us out of Reno (how appropriate), Nevada. The band’s bio has all the appropriate outlaw, cash, haggard, Coe references while their songs round up all the drug, booze and heartache that one would add to the pot when cooking up a new “outlaw” country album.
If it sounds like I’m not completely convinced of the image Hellbound Glory is putting forth, it’s because, in truth, I’m not wholly convinced it isn’t contrived or at least pushed to complete hyperbole. That said, I am convinced that 95% of the songs on Old Highs and New Lows are fantastic….even when they tread well worn ground. Musically these guys do a great job of making that classic country sound you’re used to hearing come out of your old man’s truck radio while being lyrically focusing on the bingeing and drugging of the modern “outlaw” country movement. In a pitch you could call these guys the “rock bottom” version of Whitey Morgan and the 78’s.
Old Highs and New Lows is well worth checking out as is Hellbound Glory. I only hope that as time wears on they start to expand lyrically less they end up travelling the same “been there heard that” road III is currently on.