I suppose I should start this review with a confession; I don't particularly like cover songs or country music. I tend to find covers never do justice to the original track and the imposing hillbilly stereotype associated with country music more than a little off-putting. There are exceptions, Reel Big Fish's version of 'Take On Me' and Johnny Cash spring to mind, however my opinion generally holds true. It stands to reason therefore, that I would hate Hayseed Dixie, a bluegrass/rock band hailing from the American Appalachia, who are renowned for their country themed interpretations of other group's music – however – I don't. Why? Because they're bloody hilarious!
The band, whose name is a parody of Aussie rockers AC/DC, have chosen two ambitious covers to dixie-fy in anticipation of their forthcoming album, 'Weapons of Grass Destruction'; 'I Don't Feel Like Dancin' by the Scissor Sisters and 'Holidays In The Sun' by the Sex Pistols. From the mandolin intro and manic fiddling on the first track, to the slower acoustic rendition of the second, Hayseed Dixie fill each note with plenty of arm-pumping country action. This is the kind of music that conjures images of hay straw hats, plaid shirts and line dancing in nightclubs – country music, but with a modern familiarity. These covers make me giggle; not cruel and mocking laughter, but friendly, endearing laughter like one laughs at Monty Python films – and therein is the attraction of Hayseed Dixie, the promise of fun music that will make you smile. And let's face it, everyone likes smiling.
It may come as a surprise then, if this music is fun, that I've rated this release a meagre 6 out of 13. Don't get me wrong, I like Hayseed Dixie; they're an unintentionally hilarious band, however I must question the longevity of their music. Once you've listened to them a few times, played them to your friends and loudly from your car stereo they begin to loose their amusement – a case of "you can't tell the same joke twice." For those Hayseed Dixie virgins out there with a spare pound or two, by all means pick up their new album when it's released in April – it will brighten your day, I assure you – however if you are strapped for cash, perhaps it would be better to spend your money on music with a little more substance.