DASH RIP ROCK
Hee Haw Hell
CD - $12.00 iTunesemusic
Considering today's Red State Blue State dialectic, you'd think Alternative Tentacles with our "San Francisco values" and a Southern-fried party band from Baton Rouge (which translates to "RED stick"), Louisiana would be like oil and water. This assumption couldn't be more wrong!
AT and Dash Rip Rock continue the joint enterprise that began with the 20-year retrospective Recyclone in 2005. This is a classic from the undisputed kings of Southern country punk. Hee Haw Hell blows any stereotypes about Red staters, punks, and country rockers out of the water with the genius of its conceit: it's a country punk opera based on Dante's Inferno! With spoken parts and good ol' rock-n-roll, Dash Rip Rock tells the story of Donkey's tour of Hell (populated by ghosts of Lynrd Skynrd and hippie jam bands) with Ol' Virg. As if a country-punkified version of a 14th century Italian epic poem isn't over the top, guest stars (including Mojo Nixon, The Upper Crust, and Jello Biafra!) guarantee that Hee Haw Hell is a thespian and musical piece de resistance.
If you can party to a Southern rock legend AND learn about Dante by osmosis at the same time, then what you got here is called a win-win situation.
"What happens when Dante's Inferno gets moonshine spilled all over it, and is then set on fire? Hee Haw Hell, the latest from Dash Rip Rock. Although you may have yet to hear of them, Dash Rip Rock have been playing partytime cowpunk since 1984. Hee Haw Hell seeks to raise the stakes, adding the literary element of a storyline based on Dante's Inferno, and creating, yep, a cowpunk narrative concept album/rock opera...
Aside from the novelty of the album and its theme, the music is great. It's pure Louisiana cowpunk with all the trimmings, from the honky-tonk twang of the title track, to the psychobilly cover of "Man of Constant Sorrow", to the frantic "Chariots of Hellfire", with guest preaching from Mojo Nixon. Dirty Southern rock is rampant as well on tracks like "If You See Kay", "Southern Rain" and "MOAF" (which gains Motown points for the line "Her mama was a motorcycle cop in downtown Detroit").
Even if you slept through Dante in your English class, this is a version of the story that's accessible. Just like with BloodHag's Hellbent for Letters, Alternative Tentacles have found a way to make culture cool for everyone. And, if you've managed to overlook Dash Rip Rock's past 20 years of music, this album could quite possibly deliver salvation, keeping you from an infernal destination such as, well, you know." - about.com