Funny. The last thing I wrote before this review was something about how little I cared about American Idol starting up again. Albums like this are precisely why. A confluence of '60s Link Wray biker rumble, '70s Deep Purple stoner sneer and '80s Cramps jungle boogie, Hellbound Hoedown is — as Bill Murray may have said once or twice — lean, mean and not too far in between. Try the red-light-district rumba of "Moon and Stars" and see if you're not seduced.
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Singer AliceSin Gibson more than makes up in brassy, listen-up-boys charisma whatever she may lack in range — which is not to say she can't hold a tune; imagine Concrete Blonde's Johnette Napolitano the morning after an especially wicked bender — while the four dudes behind her put every Stooges, Social D and AC/DC lesson they ever learned to excellent use. Hellbound Hoedown ain't trying to reinvent the wheel, but if you're in the mood for "Shotgun Shells and Wedding Bells," it'll get you there in a hurry — even if it has to quote The Andy Griffith Show theme song during a guitar solo to do it. Most definitely bad music for bad people, and a helluva 31-minute good time. Suck on that, Simon. — Chris Gray