Volbeat - Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies

Volbeat Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies cover
Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies
Universal Republic
Volbeat at least in Greece and places like the UK etc, are happening NOW. In Scandinavia and other places, they were pretty big, a wee bit earlier... I suppose, and I had seen them twice, at SRF, not really understanding what the whole fuss was all about. The whole band sounds like a hipster, happier version of Metallica with a lot of alternative and groove elements, doing J. Cash covers, while under the influence of speedballs. Michael Poulsen the band’s singer has a very “challenged” Hetfield-like voice that he sort of can take a little higher, but it’s totally, one dimensional and boring without any great skills or even an identity of its own, hence the “mimic” style. Even a duet that King Diamond lends his talents to “Room 24”, probably the best song on the album, sounds rather lame, because of Poulsen’s too “out of place singing” that’s so yob-ish, that can’t really convey the emotion of “threat”, “horror”, “impending doom” or anything really. He sounds like a mix between the Offspring and Metallica really, a nasal Hetfield, with a rather not so steady unimpressive range.
The style that Volbeat are trying and succeeding to pass as their own “original thing” has been previously done by other bands and far better too, but nobody gave a rat’s arse before unfortunately... The Arkhams, Knock Galley West (a bit more Punk though) or the Gypsy Pistoleros (a bit more gyppo-glam though) just to name a few... have come up with songs about the far west and desperado killers, but it’s these hapless Danes that people give a damn for?
Most I could confer is that people were getting too drunk around me, at SRF and so they wanted something “drunk” to “dance to” – yobbishly – but in all seriousness, I could not really take Volbeat seriously. At 5 albums, including this, and almost reaching the point where they are “below the big HEADLINE acts” it’s almost “pathetic” and shows that the people will sort of go for “anything”... that will be marketed to them these days and so will the companies. If it sells, what the hell, push it… J
Out of the completely “one trick pony” that “Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies” is, “Room 24” grants a listen, although, “The King” has seen far better days and doing this only because “Volbeat” are his fellow “Danes” is pretty lame... he should really be more critical about where he opts to participate, here he sounds really, out of place // not quite on the same “page” with Poulsen vocally, even if Volbeat, bends backward to make the song work for “Diamond”. It’s very much like Robert Halford, trying to be hip, with 5FDP. It ended up being a lame track where he’s barely audible. And not really the hardcore METAL tracks one would expect from these METAL legends to participate in. Sounds more like they had to do it for their companies’ sakes (since both bands were label-mates I think)...
Anyhow, other than the aforementioned, “The Lonesome Rider” (a duet with a Sarah Blackwood) and “The Hangman’s Bodycount” sort of made a bit of an impression to me, but almost everything else, tended to be based around the same formulaic, recipe, with Poulsen being the weakest link.
Anthrax’s former guitarist Rob Caggiano, has become the band’s own and co-produced the album along with Jacob Hansen. The production ain’t bad, but then again there ain’t too much going on, to make it a difficult “mix” really. The cover is that typical “Volbeatish” comic thing, that is so “Them”. (not King Diamond’s) Eh?!
I remain highly unimpressed. The rest of the world might as well, call me names, or James, but maybe I am not drunk enough...
The album is not horrible, but it’s very average. If Volbeat is the best today’s music scene has to offer then I might as well start fishing… (Nah – there are obviously a lot far better bands out there, both old and new, worthy of your support! Seek Them Out!)