MATADORS: Sweet Revenge: LP

The last three years have not been kind to Hooch. During that time, the Matadors’ principle singer/songwriter has learned that the music industry is more vicious than he ever would have guessed, and he was not born yesterday. Hooch has been stolen from, lied to, pissed on from great heights, and generally fucked over in a big way. At one point, the singer/ guitarist was so disillusioned that he almost hung his Fender Jazzmaster for good. The guitar was then stolen from him, but he pushed on, almost delirious with anger and sorrow. But, and despite having no permanent bass player, the Matadors finally managed to complete Sweet Revenge, their fifth full-length album. Fans will be grateful they did. For those who may be unfamiliar with the Matadors, they are the prime purveyors of horrorbilly, a genre that has become increasingly overrun by trendy and untalented hacks. The band rides primarily on Hooch’s golden pipes, and after listening to the Matadors, one may wonder if the vocalist really did make a pact with the devil. Seriously, the fucker can sing. Along with long-time drummer Jay Westman, Hooch brings the music to fans in a way that will make pretenders cry. After listening to the Matadors, there is nowhere to go but down. On Sweet Revenge, the Matadorsincorporate rock elements and even a banjo into the mix, but only those obsessed with rigid definitions will object. If you liked other Matadors albums, you’ll love this one. Early standouts on Sweet Revenge are “Drunk Driving” and “If You’re Gonna Bitch (I’m Gonna Drink)” and “Bush Party Handjob.” Throw away your Creepshow and Horrorpops LPs because this is the real deal. –Chris Walter

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