REGRINDING THE AXES
What could be more useless in 2012 than a new Molly Hatchet studio album? Clearly the band knew. The correct answer is: a Molly Hatchet covers album. Look, I've got no real issues with Molly Hatchet. Every tractor pull and ribfest has to have their live band entertainment, and Foghat always needs a co-headliner. As far as recorded music though, I have to assume that Molly Hatchet recorded music stopped meaning anything to anyone around the time the replacement players started outnumbering the original members in the band. Still, they want to continue on, so God bless 'em.
REGRINDING THE AXES couldn't have been more useless a release if Tesla recorded it and called it REAL TO REEL 3. Here's a word of advice to all the bands out there from a simple nobody that's a music fan. The overwhelming majority of us DO NOT CARE who your influences were. Your influences are meant to be a one line thing we read in an interview...not a $15 bill we have to pay if we are catalog collectors. Another thing - cover songs are meant to be a single song tagged on the end of a great album. I don't care if you are a fan of Megadeth, Motley Crue or Molly Hatchet - it's a fact that 99.99% of the time fans hate covers albums and feel ripped off by their favorite bands when they put them out.
Now that you know where I'm coming from here, on to the review. "Freebird" cover - well, no shock that Molly Hatchet would be a. influenced, and b. covering a Lynyrd Skynyrd tune, is there? Decent cover, although it's almost a note for note replication of the original and, therefore, fairly useless to me. Hatchet's cover of George Thorogood and the Destroyers' "Bad To The Bone" is embarrassing. Hearing lead vocalist Phil McCormack struggle with the stuttering "B-B-B-B-Bad" parts is laughable; distracting enough to make me think that they should have scrapped the entire song. The problem with this whole release is that all the songs are so stereotypical of what you would expect from this that there's nothing fresh or interesting about it. Rolling Stones, ZZ Top, Allman Brothers, Thin Lizzy - all are what every band of this ilk was influenced by. Yet, all the songs they chose to cover were the most recognizable from each band, so there's no coolness factor there as well. Even further down the suck trail, every song feels almost note for note like the original. It's clear the band had NO intention of putting their own spin on this at all.
PITRIFF RATING - 8/100 - Unless I'm mistaken, there's not a single member of this band that's been there for every show and every album. It's hard to take them as anything but a cover band when there's no member that knows the entire history of the band. This is what a cover band does - they play cover songs. If four friends and I got together and recorded these songs, we'd have almost as much right to call ourselves Molly Hatchet. Interestingly, there's probably be as much interest in that release as there will be in this one. Molly Hatchet is no longer flirting with disaster. They are married to it. Terrible.