Hayseed Dixie - Weapons of Grass Destruction
Another week, and another Hayseed Dixie release lands upon my desk. Though I enjoyed last week's effort, I was quite content I'd had my fill of the Appalachian tribute act for the meantime and had no burning desire to listen to them again for a while at least. So when I discovered that I did indeed have a second release to review, this time albeit a full album, I would be lying if I said I was excited. After a brief interlude where I skimmed through the handy press release, and smiled to myself at the album's title, 'Weapons of Grass Destruction' I pressed play and was ... aghast.
The first song on the album is exactly the same as the first song from last week's single, a bluegrass cover of the Sex Pistols classic, 'Holidays In The Sun.' Although not at all surprising, that a album's first song is also the first single, it brought back the all-too-familiar notion of 'I've heard that joke before,' a notion which plagues Hayseed Dixie and is their biggest detractor. Skipping track one then, I moved onto track two, a successful cover of 'Devil Woman' originally sung by Cliff Richard. For those yet to read my previous review (boo! hiss!) I shall explain a little about Hayseed Dixie; the band is renowned for taking both contemporary and classic music and applying it to their unique bluegrass/rock fusion style, creating country covers often to hilarious ends. Hayseed Dixie therefore, are somewhat of a gimmick.
I don't want to appear as if I am selling out on you, my wonderful audience, by not going into each track and offering a detailed dissection. Hayseed Dixie follow a simple formula, take one famous song, strip away the original music, add a number of traditional bluegrass instruments (fiddles, banjos, mandolin etc) and play it loud. Inevitably humour follows as listening to famous songs performed in a fashion so far removed from their original conception will raise a smile, and perhaps an eyebrow. Where Hayseed Dixie showcase original songs, they keep the same sound, but replace the humour with amusing lyrics such as 'I used to buy her lingerie, now I wish she'd wear a sweater' from track 4, 'She was pretty when I met her.' With such easy to follow patterns, a quick glance at the tracklist will often be the tell-tale sign whether you will like the album.
Concluding, and as before, I have chosen to give this latest Hayseed Dixie release a relatively low score. Why, I hear you cry? Well, again as before, whilst for the first two or three plays through this album would easily score double figures for sheer amusement and enjoyment alone, subsequent listens cause the 'joke' to wear thin and lose it's appeal. If you are the kind of person who views music like paying for the cinema, then by all means stop reading and buy this album, it may well lose its appeal quickly, but whilst it's fun, it's fucking fun. However, if you are the kind of person who prefers DVDs and prolonged enjoyment, you're better off buying something else.
Treat Hayseed Dixie like condoms; have your fun then throw it away.