Alabama Thunderpussy
Open Fire

I’ve got a brother who thinks Alabama Thunderpussy is one of the best things since electric guitar. To be honest, I’ve never really been that into them. Maybe it’s because of the band name, which I always thought was a little silly. To be honest, I can’t see myself sporting the Alabama Thunderpussy T-shirt. At any rate, my brother’s tried to make me a fan for years now, so when he told me about how much ass this record kicks, I kind of rolled my eyes and said, “sure, whatever.” Then I got in his truck and “Words of the Dying Man” blasted out of the stereo. I instantly loved it, and was actually pretty surprised to find out who it was. I ended up borrowing his CD. I still won’t call myself a fan, but I do like this record.

“Words of the Dying Man” remains my favorite track on the record. It’s this huge, hook-laden tune that falls somewhere between Lynyrd Skynyrd, Clutch and Badmotorfinger-era Soundgarden. I can’t get it loud enough on my stereo, and I can’t hear it enough times. Now, on to the rest of the album. I’m not quite as sold on it as that song, but it is a seriously rocking record.

Anyone who has read even one of my reviews knows I’m a sucker for big guitar riffs, and this record has them in droves. Nearly every song here has a memorable one or two. I particularly love the riff under the chorus of “The Cleansing,” the chainsaw opening riff of “None Shall Return” and the classic metal openings of the title track and “Brave the Rain.” Though no other complete song here comes close to the power of “Words of the Dying Man” for me, the epic feel of the album finale “Greed” is close. I love the chugging groove and growled vocals on the verse, and the lead guitar work is hot as well. The thrash feel of the title track and the groove of “Brave the Rain” are also more memorable for me than what I’ve heard from ATP in the past.

There’s a truly odd mix of influences in the music, everything from Skynyrd to Manowar. They attack old school hard rock with the vengeance of Judas Priest, the attitude of southern rock and more than a little punk defiance. While listening to the album, you can hear bits taken from traditional metal, thrash, even death metal and country. Oh, and the Molly Hatchet album cover is a nice touch, too.

Like I said before, I’m still not ready to go out and grab the T-shirt, but I’ll certainly be interested in hearing what’s next from them. This record rocks hard, and is a must for any fan of raw, stripped down, smash-you-in-the-teeth rock ‘n’ roll.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Fred Phillips
May 28th, 2007

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