The Nashville music scene sometimes gets a hard rock kick in the pants. Kentucky-based quartet Ned Van Go simply bludgeons Music City with its fifth release, "Lost in the Trouble." The bruising band "shares the common bond of southern, small town guys (plus one Yankee) marked for life by boredom, desperation and a 12-pack of cheap beer put to good use." The raucous, clever, 11-song auditory assault opens with the scorching Hog Rock Road, an ode to back-country meth labs. Songwriter Ned Hill draws on experiences from his hometown Horse Cave, Ky. (pop. 2,252).
Themes range from disinterment to the hilarious skewed mathematics of 1000 Dollar Car. Featured guests include Dan Baird (Georgia Satellites), Warner Hodges (Jason and the Scorchers) and Robert Kearns (Bottle Rockets/Lynyrd Skynyrd). The album downshifts only once for the Orbison-esque duet with Stacie Collins, Moon Shine On You.
Hill said, "We weren't out in the sticks and we weren't out in the mountains sitting on the porch playing that kind of music. We were getting our influences from everywhere, from AC/DC to Creedence." With the addition of Bob Grant's (Bad Livers) heavy handed Les Paul, Ned Van Go rocks as hard as any metal band in their '80s heyday, sometimes overextending with effects to the point of dissonance. However, the aggression remains complimentary to the overall aggression. His heavy chord work on the thrash metal breakup song Where Ya Gone Virginia,makes it as aptly categorized as either metal or punk.
On Lost Factory Song,"Hill sings, "She likes tequila shots and Toby Keith/Sings a little outta tune through her missing teeth." The album is short on finesse and long on kick ass. Just like rock n' roll should be.
Producer Michael Webb (John Fogerty, Poco and Gary Allan) keeps the mix raw and minimal. Their booking contract should contain a standard indemnity clause in the vein of "Book this band at your own risk. They may burn your venue to the ground."
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