I love this job. Once in a while, I get these emails that ask me to review a new album. Sometimes I’ve heard of the band, sometimes I haven’t. This time, I had never heard of the band…Scattered Hamlet? Swamp Rebel Machine? What is that? Oh well, I thought, I’ll take a listen.
I’m glad I did. This is some kick-ass stuff that I just can’t get enough of. This is Scattered Hamlet’s second LP, following 2013’s Skeleton Dixie. The new album will be released on November 4th.
“I’d love to review it, and get an interview for my new Podcast, The ROK Podcast.” I replied. (Stay tuned for news on the interview with vocalist Adam Joad). But, wait. This is described as honky tonk metal. I’m a geeky hair metal dude from Canada. I called the only honky tonker I know, Southern reporter Jude Falcon, and asked him to write a review. Here’s what he had to say…
Scattered Hamlet -Swamp Rebel Machine
A Review by Jude Falcon
Get ready for a gut punch in the throat and a thrill ride of in-your-face BAD ASS hard southern rock music! If you like thunderous drums, thumping bass, ripping guitar solos and sick-ass vocal harmonies Scattered Hamlet are for you. If not, you won’t make through the first song. “Battle Hymn” bursts open with a drum beat that just escalates from the opening into metal magic. The second song “Whip Poor Will” rockets into the stratosphere with a pulsing fury and it has the best guitar solo on the album right before a tasty-as-hell breakdown. The other song that got my attention was the title track “Swamp Rebel Machine” which opens up with a Legend of Wooley Swamp feel to it, while offering a welcomed but not necessary tempo change to really set the groove and tone of what these guys seem to be about. The vocals remind me of Kevin DuBrow (Quiet Riot) and White Zombie mixed with the drumming of Bonham (Led Zeppelin), coupled with the guitar licks of Ritchie Blackmore (Deep Purple) and the bass thuds of Joe Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult).
The album has a great sound mix over all and has a deep grunting edge to it which is brought by the producer Jason Donaghy known for producing Rob Zombie and John 5 while being mastered by Howie Weinberg whose credits include Pantera, Slayer and White Zombie. Definitely no slouches in the metal and rock department which make this LP buzz cut your hair with a flame thrower while snorting a line. The style is new and edgy and reminds me of the first time I heard Mountain through my dad’s stereo. It’s a round peg that just doesn’t fit in the square hole, but I’m totally cool with that and want more. The tunes have way less pop than Black Stone Cherry and are harder than anything Lynrd Skynyrd or The Kentucky Headhunters ever put out. Even though they are different, I can feel the strong sense of southern pride and little sprinklings of influences such as Down, Credence, and Molly Hatchet.
Pull up the truck, drop the tailgate, get a fire going with a jar of Uncle Jim’s shine and crank it to 11. Scattered Hamlet would be right at home, I promise.
SCATTERED HAMLET are: Adam Joad – Vocals, Harmonica, Guitar Richard Erwin – Bass, Vocals Jake Delling Le Bas – Drums
Adam Newell – Lead Guitar, Vocals
SCATTERED HAMLET LINKS:
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