Hayseed Dixie - Weapons of Grass Destruction
The awful, awful cover art tells you everything you need to know about this album. Looking like it was knocked up in five minutes on an old version of Photoshop, it features the four indescribably ugly members of the band, possessing, as they do, all the rock star charisma of late period Timmy Mallet. There’s even the ‘hilarious’ title, which would have been topical five years ago. It screams wacky, and rates as possibly the worst atrocity ever committed in the field of album art, just as this album is the latest atrocity Hayseed Dixie have committed in the field of music.
It opens deceptively, with a sedate version of Holidays in the Sun. Any hopes of the rest of it being just as pleasantly inoffensive are dashed, however, by the dreadful cover of Devil Woman, which features Hayseed’s trademark, ‘hilarious’ banjo picking. I never thought I’d say this, but I'd much rather listen to the Cliff Richard original. The gang then commit a cardinal error by attempting the already annoying I Don’t Feel Like Dancin’, rendered a thousand times worse in this ‘hilarious’ version- although at least they don’t try the falsetto. Other lowlights include Strawberry Fields Forever, which sees the gang breaking into ’Cotton Eye Joe’, Rednex’ novelty techno/c&w hit from the 90s, and the most appropriate comparison to Hayseed Dixie the album throws up, a cover of Down Down featuring special guest Francis Rossi (normally, an appearance by one of the grizzled octogenarians from Status Quo would constitute a low point for any album, but here, it’s a highlight. Well, sort of.), and Hungover Brokedown, an entirely pointless instrumental track and one of the few original compositions.
It’s the original compositions that show the band for what they are; a bunch of talentless opportunists with a stunted sense of humour and a musical ability somewhere on the level of a mediocre cruise liner country and western act; halfway through listening to this, I heard drilling from next door, and as an aural experience it was infinitely more enjoyable. This is music for people who still find Big Mouth Billy Bass funny.