Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters - Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free Review
Posted by Andy Rackauskas on 04.02.2012
Is the Ministry front-mans side project simply a novelty album, or is it worthy of beer drinkers and hell raisers? 411s Andy Rackauskas throws a dime in the honky tonk jukebox to check it out.
13th Planet/AMF Records
Release Date - 1/17/12
Bass Tony Campos
Cello Margaret Lejeune
Double Bass L. David Barnette
Drum Programming, Engineer Sammy D'Ambruoso
Engineer [Second] Andrew Davidson
Lead Guitar, Electric Guitar Rick Nielsen
Lead Guitar, Electric Guitar, Acoustic Guitar, Banjo, Resonator Guitar [Dobro] Mike Scaccia
Lyrics By, Vocals [Vox], Pedal Steel Guitar, Harmonica, Banjo, Mandolin, Keyboards, Acoustic Guitar Buck Satan
Producer, Mixed By Alien Jourgensen a/k/a Buck Satan
1 Quicker Than Liquor 3:10
2 What's Wrong With Me 4:19
3 Medication Nation 4:34
4 Drug Store Truck Drivin' Man 4:31
5 The Only Time I'm Sober Is When You're Gone 3:21
6 Cheap Wine, Cheap Ramen 4:11
7 Down The Drain 4:35
8 Sleepless Nights And Bar Room Fights 3:00
9 Friend Of The Devil 4:25
10 Ten Long Years In Texas 4:30
11 I Hate Every Bone In Your Body Except Mine 5:18
12 Take Me Away 4:37
13 Dignity 4:54 (bonus track with digital purchase at Amazon.com)
Back in the early 90's, Ministry was at the pinnacle of their game. They were the godfathers of industrial metal. It was right around that time that front-man, Al Jourgensen, kept threatening to unleash a county & western project called Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters. After about 20 years, Al finally made good on his promise.
Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters' Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free is pretty much what you would think it should be given the band's make-up. It is simply a country & western industrial hybrid. In all honesty, it's not too far of a stretch for Al and his band. After all, Al produced The Reverend Horton Heat's finest album, "Liquor In Front". Many of the beats sound very industrial. Some of the guitars sound industrial. Some of the vocals sound industrial. But for the most part, the singing and playing are pretty straight forward, except it all seems a little sped up with an industrial tinge.
Take the track "Drug Store Truck Driving Man". The beats feel like they could have come right off a Ministry album. However, once you add the fiddle and guitars, you simply feel like you're in a honky tonk listening to Marty Robbins on speed.
On "The Only Time I'm Sober Is When You're Gone", Jourgensen hits the bullseye with his humor. You need only read the title to get the joke. It's a song that Hank III could have easily done. It's also worth noting that Cheap Trick's guitarist, Rick Neilsen adds some nice touches to the track (as well as many others on the album). Cuts like "Cheap Wine Cheap Ramen" and "Sleepless Nights Bar Room Fights" also showcase the levity of the project.
Jourgensen revisits the classic Grateful Dead song, "Friend of the Devil". It's a song he contributed to Neil Young's Bridge School Benefit album in 1994 as Ministry. If you are familiar with that version, you can actually hear Al sing instead of scream! Step Back Glenn Danzig, Al's got him some pipes! That performance was certainly the seed to this current project.
If you happen to buy the digital version, you get the bonus track "Dignity". Besides the growl of Al's voice, it's about as straight forward a country song was you can get. It has virtually no industrial vibe to it at all. It's a nice closer ballad that you'll want to flip your Zippo to.
It's pretty easy to gather that Buck Satan and the 666 Shooters is a novelty. However, within all the fun is a serious effort to capture the Bakersfield country sound popularized by the likes of Buck Owens (an obvious homage in their namesake) and Merle Haggard. Unlike the past few Ministry albums, "Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free" isn't bogged down with anti-government/anti-George W. Bush rage songs. (There's nothing wrong with a few sharp jabs but Al got a little lost along the way and seemed to have made a trilogy of albums dedicated solely to blasting Bush ad nausea!) It's simply nice to see Jourgensen having fun with music.
The 411: Bikers Welcome Ladies Drink Free, while a bit hit and miss, mostly hits. You know what you're getting when you listen to an Al Jourgensen album. The novelty of the project, being that it is a country & western album, surprisingly doesn't wear too thin. It's a fun trek into a dingy saloon with enough humor and bombast to please. The only tear in your beer will probably be caused by laughter due to the subject matter. So, drink up and enjoy Al's crazy musical rodeo.