Few things can prepare you for the hysterical candor of Jesse And The Hogg Bros. A Texas based group, comprised of family members, who may or may not have invented the genre, Cow Punk. The band has been around, since 2009, and their newest release is titled, Get Hammered. At 13 songs, Get Hammered is by turns, hilarious, touching, cringe worthy, and musically sound with tremendous performances. In fact, you might be surprised by just how much you love of every aspect of Get Hammered.
“Santa’s Got A Bag Of Coal,” which kicks of with a chuckling endorsement from Kris Kringle, himself, tells the tale of an ungrateful loan recipient. Remember when I lent you a thousand bucks/you told me you were down on your luck/ six months gone ain’t seen a cent/now I’m behind on my rent/Santa’s got a bag of coal for you. On the surface, Jesse And The Hogg Bros, may seem culturally specific to most. It songs like this one, and others, though, that are universally relatable. The only caveat here, is the redundancy of the chorus line. The chorus is repeated, ad nauseam, and you get the feeling this track may have been a late addition, bore out of necessity.
We then come to “Onion Ring,” and this is one of the tracks that might spark a little debate over Jesse and company. While there’s nothing overtly obscene in the piece, there’s some that may exclaim misogyny. Jesse And The Hogg Bros are not exactly PC, and this track tells the story of how Jesse evades commitment to a woman, based on purely cosmetic reasons. Well the only ring’s she’s getting/is an onion ring/I’m a cowboy player/on a one night fling. Jesse describes his would be Soulmate as having a model body, with a armadillo face, and the irony of having his female cousin provide backing vocals, might be too much for some. Politics aside, this is a funny and well-presented piece, regardless of any potential polarities.
“The Hammer,” seems to tell the story of a defense attorney, with a stringent reputation. Everybody knows/the hammers made of metal/he takes the case/that the other guys settle. The guitar work here, stands out. There are a few guitar solos interspersed throughout this record, and while this song doesn’t feature a solo, per se, there is some solid playing, with a nice chord progression. The keys compliment the guitar well, and give the song a vintage rockabilly feel.
While Get Hammered may not be the next massive crossover, it is nothing short of a spectacularly solid effort. The tracks are often kept short, which not only prevents exhaustion, but actually builds anticipation throughout. I couldn’t wait to hear where Jesse and Company, were going to go next, and how they would subvert whatever subject matter into comic gold. The themes that the band touches on, are often quite identifiable, and you never feel alienated by the strict presence of rural subculture. Jesse And The Hogg Bros bring the hammer and the humor, on Get Hammered.