Once upon a time, I coined the term “Heavy Metal Americana” and a little known band out of Kentucky adopted the term and put it on a tshirt. That band, was Those Crosstown Rivals. A band that, at the time, had not gotten too much run here on ninebullets or the the radio show.
Those Crosstown Rivals first landed on my radar after the release of their debut album, Kentucky Gentlemen. An album that, to be honest, I was not too keen on. Now, many months (year?) later I went back to it to see if I was just being overly judgmental the initial times I checked out the album I’ve decided that No….I was not. In the time between Kentucky Gentlemen and Hell and Back the bands sound has matured and grown a lot more polished. In hindsight, we should have seen this coming with the song “Kentucky Woman” they had on the split 7” with Arliss Nancy. A track, mind you, that I damned near wore out on Ninebullets Radio.
If the band can prove to be consistent from album to album Hell And Back is Those Crosstown Rivals announcement that they belong to be mentioned in the same breath as Arliss Nancy and other bands of that ilk.
Hell And Back is exactly what I want from a modern southern rock record; guitars, power, cuss words, dead people and drunken nights. Not only is it Essential Listening in my opinion, it’s top 10 of the year material.