Shotguns, Trucks and Cattle CD Review
By: TJ Fowler
Release Date February 2013
Recently, I photographed a Sabaton concert in Oulu, Finland that had the Swedish Industrial Metal band Raubtier performing as one of the opening acts. As per usual, after I finished editing my photos, submitting them to websites and getting them posted. I contacted Raubtier to inform them that their photos had been posted and gave them the information to check them out.
My success rate at being contacted back from bands has been a bit spotty as bands and their management can be busy, don’t care about the photos or just have better things to do than email back a unknown photographer. Well, as it turns out I did hear back from the management from Raubtier telling me they will check out the photos and add me to a mailing list for any upcoming releases.
So, it was from this mailing list I recently got an email from Despotz Records informing me of a band named Bourbon Boys from Sweden who will be releasing their debut Southern/Country Rock album in February. The email also included a link where I could listen to the entire album and also gave me an opportunity to review the album.
Being from Tennessee and living outside of Nashville, the home of country music, I was interested in hearing what a Country/Rockabilly band from Sweden would sound like compared to what passes for country today coming out of Nashville. What I found was a nice little surprise and an overall fun, enjoyable album to listen to.
The album ‘Shotguns, Trucks and Cattle’ is first and foremost an album to drink to with mostly fast and catchy songs with some tongue cheek humor to boot. The first thing someone will notice here are the vocals. I think what will make or break someone enjoying this album will be the singers style. Hulkoff has a very gruff style of singing and he does have a southern sound to his voice which at times does sound as if he may be trying a bit TOO hard to sound like a country singer. For me, it didn’t matter that much. I found the songs quiet entertaining and fun to listen to for the most part with only a few songs that didn’t really grab my attention. Also, compared to what comes out of Nashville these days that is supposed to be country music, this band does a better job at playing country than Nashville based bands do.
If you know the criteria for the subject matter of country songs you will find them here. The songs subject matter on the album centers primarily about drinking, women (losing them and trying to get them) and hunting. Some of the songs are a bit cliché’ in some areas, including the song the band picks for their single ‘Hillbilly Heart’ which is a good, slow to mid paced tune. However, being from Tennessee I can’t recall from the top of my head that many country songs from the past or current that ever use the term Hillbilly in their songs or people referring to themselves as such. Mostly when I hear anyone referred to as Hillbilly is when someone is making fun of someone from the south or in the mountains somewhere with no running water. I’m not saying there aren’t songs that use the term but I don’t find it commonplace. I think part of difference in the lyrics in the songs you see here from a Swedish country band and from a band in Nashville is a bit due to the fact that Sweden is obviously a bit removed from the center of country music and there is going to be a bit of cultural influence as well in the songwriting.
Also, some songs on the album appear to have some good humor elements in them and not meant to be taken very seriously, such as the Bowhunting Song which actually reminded me a bit of the Swedish techno band Rednex with the humorous lyrics.
Most of the songs, as I stated earlier are catchy and tend to be a bit of a faster pace than you would typically find with most country songs, which I actually found to be a positive. Some of the standout tracks for me were:
Beast of Bourbon
Overall, I think ‘Shotguns, Trucks and Cattle’ is a good, fun debut album from the Bourbon Boys. As stated earlier, I think the vocals will be the first thing listeners will notice and what will either keep them interested or not followed by some of the lyrics might strike some as too cliché. But if you are looking for something to pop in your cd player or ipod, have a fun night with some friends and have good time together, this CD will fill that need in Spades.
Shotgun, Trucks and Cattle is due to be released February 2013
Bourbon Boys are:
Hulkoff – Lead Guitar, Vocals
Jonas Kjellgren – Lead Guitar, Backing Vocals
Kenneth Seil – Bass, Backing Vocals
Matt Buffalo – Drums & Percussion
Hillbilly Heart Official Video