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Molly Hatchet: Justice

Blazing slide guitars, whiskey soaked vocals, and honky tonk piano, yep, you guessed it, we've got another new album from Southern Rock legends Molly Hatchet. Justice is the name of their latest, and if you've liked what these longtime rockers have put out in the past, there's no reason why this latest collection of beer chuggin' rousers won't have you longing for a thrilling motorcycle ride on the longest stretch of interstate you can find.

The Jacksonville, Florida act has had a fairly stable line-up over the last few years, consisting of longtime lead guitarist Bobby Ingram, original lead guitarist Dave Hlubek, singer Phil McCormack, keyboard player John Galvin, bassist Tim Lindsey, and drummer Shawn Beamer. Opening cut "Been to Heaven Been to Hell" is a real barnburner to kick things off here, complete with plenty of fiery slide & lead guitar battles between Hlubek and Ingram, and "Safe In My Skin" is a catchy Southern Rock anthem again with loads of ripping guitar leads and a tasty Hammond solo from Galvin. "Deep Water", with its crunchy riffs, harmony guitar lines, and synth passages, has a decidedly 80's feel, and the bluesy "American Pride" lets McCormack shine with his gutsy, Danny Joe Brown styled vocal delivery. Other highlights include the country-ish ballad "As Heaven Is Forever" (guess Lynyrd Skynyrd aren't the only ones who can go this route lately), the epic & majestic sounding "I'm Gonna Live Til I Die", the heavy metal thunder of "Vengeance", and the blazing, near 9-minute title track, which, as you can imagine, allows for plenty of fretwork pyrotechnics from Ingram & Hlubek.

We can all argue 'till we are blue in the face whether Ingram & Co. should have been carrying on as Molly Hatchet all these years, especially since only Hlubek is an original member and DJB & Duane Roland are no longer with us. Truth be told, this line-up sounds so similar to classic Hatchet, and they still play kick ass Southern Rock, that it's a moot point really. I for one am glad they are still waving the flag and rocking with a vengeance.

Now then, I've just parked my bike and am ready for that cold beer and a hot burger from the grill!


Track Listing

  1. 'Been To Heaven Been To Hell'
  2. 'Safe In My Skin'
  3. 'Deep Water'
  4. 'American Pride'
  5. 'I'm Gonna Live `Til I Die'
  6. 'Fly On Wings Of Angels (Somers Song)'
  7. 'As Heaven Is Forever'
  8. 'Tomorrows And Forevers'
  9. 'Vengeance'
  10. In The Darkness Of The Night'
  11. 'Justice'

Added: May 9th 2010
Reviewer: Pete Pardo
Score:
Related Link: Band MySpace Page
Hits: 2485
Language: english

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Molly Hatchet: Justice
Posted by Dean Pedley, SoT Staff Writer on 2010-05-09 05:12:52
My Score:

Due for release across Europe at the end of May is Justice, the first new studio album from Molly Hatchet for some five years. With a strong and loyal following, Germany has become almost like a second home for the band and it is no surprise that they are still on the rejuvenated SPV / Steamhammer label. With a complicated history of changing personnel, the "old" Hatchet versus "new" Hatchet argument was set aside with founder member Dave Hlubek rejoining in 2005 albeit he doesn't contribute to the songwriting on Justice which is primarily a collaboration between guitarist Bobby Ingram and vocalist Phil McCormack with some help from John Galvin (keyboards).

"Been To Heaven, Been To Hell" is a typically fiery opener with the swagger that has been associated with Hatchet as long ago as the 1970's and "Flirtin With Disaster". And with a hook line of "been to heaven, been to hell, gotta get home to Jacksonville, the ladies drive me crazy, but I guess they always will" you just know this is a sure-fire winner. "Safe in My Skin", the soaring "American Pride" and the dark, rumbling, near nine minute title track are barnstorming and sparkling Southern Rock anthems with whisky soaked vocals and bags of enthusiasm and energy; something which is all the more remarkable when you take into account MH are in the autumn of their career.

But at the very heart of the album is their tribute to Florida schoolgirl, 7 year old Somer Thompson, who was abducted and brutally murdered in October 2009 and for whom the band have played a benefit concert to raise awareness of the tragedy. You would have to have a heart of stone not to be moved by "Fly On The Wings of Angels" and despite the heavyweight emotion of the subject matter, the band make sure it is treated with great dignity and respect and it stands as one of their finest achievements.

Justice marks a welcome return for Molly Hatchet and is evidence they have a lot left to offer in terms of creating new music and not simply trading on past glories.



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