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Have you heard the one about Country Dick Montana?
He's dead.
But before the wildman who single-handedly inspired San Diego's way-weird post-punk movement died of throat cancer last year, he assembled a lifetime's worth of friends and musical collaborators to record a pounding, growling, profane assault on all that's decent. Montana spent his life pissing on convention from a high altitude, and his final statement is delivered with considerable volume, pressure and accuracy. And despite the heaping portions of gleeful raunch served up here, there are moments of exquisite tenderness -- especially "Anywhere" and "I Wanted You to Know" -- delivered in Montana's deep-throated growl. Fortunately, the sentimentality is immediately followed by the raucous lunacy that marked Montana's career. Mojo Nixon raises frenzied hell with his longtime friend and drummer on "Green Door," while Candye Kane proves that her biggest-slut-in-the-business persona makes her the perfect backup singer for Montana, who was a bigger slut than she'll ever be.

Don't cry for Montana; he had more fun in his 40 years than the rest of us put together could dream of. His self-produced musical autobiography is a celebration, not a somber obituary. Get severely altered and grin all the way through "Trendy Shitbag" and "The Only Whore Around." Rest assured, Dick would have wanted it that way. (**** 1/2)

-- Jim Sherman

CDs are rated on a one to five star scale.

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