Bourbon Boys - Hail to the Chief

Bourbon Boys Hail to the Chief cover
Bourbon Boys
Hail to the Chief
Despotz Records
Things here are pretty simple; if you like Ted Nugent, Brad Paisley, Brian Setzer and Lynyrd Skynyrd, then you’ll probably like the Bourbon Boys. I can’t guarantee you’ll love them, but you’ll probably like them. Now, if you don’t like Ted Nugent, Brad Paisley, Brian Setzer and Lynyrd Skynyrd, then you’ll not like the Bourbon Boys. Is that clear for y’all?
I am really sorry but as hard as I tried (and the Lord knows I did) I can’t take these guys seriously for the life of me. I just can’t make myself believe that these guys are for real. I wouldn’t be surprised if “Hail to the Chief” turned out to be a comedy album, making fun of American bands which “southern” themselves as much as they possibly can in order to sound grittier. Especially if you take into account the fact that the Bourbon Boys are from Sweden and not from the great American South.
Chances are though, they’re not a comedy act (I’m still not fully convinced), so let’s talk about their album seriously. The truth is that their music is not all that bad; they have this southern/country rock thing and it is done pretty well. The riffs are catchy and fun, the groove is there and the hooks would be hooking if the lyrics weren’t so dumb. This is actually the biggest problem in this album: the guy’s voice and what he’s singing about.
I don’t care one tiny bit about the fact that he sings songs called “Son of the North” and “Proud To Be a Redneck” when he’s clearly not an actual redneck. I mean if we go down that road we’ll start questioning if Led Zeppelin have even seen that “Stairway to Heaven” (or any of those weird stuff they mention in that song), if Metallica have in fact lost their arms and legs in war like they suggest in “One”, if Jimi Hendrix was actually a “Voodoo Child” and so on. My objection to the singer is that he seems to be trying a little too hard to sound like a true pick-up driving southern man but he comes across as stiff at times (take the opening of “Broken Badboy Blues” for example). As for the lyrics, they are all variations of the same notion: “I’m a simple redneck dude, I don’t trust the government and I do guy stuff like driving 4x4’s and listen to Ted Nugent”. Those two things combined together make some moments in the album either hilarious or unbearable to listen.
“Hail to the Chief” is not a horrible album though. Musically, I would actually describe The Bourbon Boys as a proud descendant of the great Johnny Cash (I think we all agree that this is no small thing). I do hope, however, that in the future they will be able to broaden their horizons thematically so that their listeners won’t feel excluded if they aren’t born and raised southern males who are sporting the confederate flag on the hood of their pick-up truck.
Finally, I would like to congratulate myself on writing this review without making a single joke about anybody sleeping with their cousin. Way to go me!