Review: Bootyard Bandits – ‘The Very Best of Bootyard Bandits’

Bootyard BanditsGiven the connection between Worcester’s Bootyard Bandits and Scottish pirate-metallers Alestorm, the lack of fucks given from the purveyors of “Heavy Metal Banjo” shouldn’t come as a surprise. Like Alestorm, Bootyard Bandits play music to put a smile on people’s faces. It’s not serious or containing a deep message… you have Muse for that! Bootyard Bandits offer up the musical equivalent of the factory hooter sounding at 5pm on a Friday. It’s the sound of queuing up in your grotty overalls for some foreman to hand you a paypacket, then waking up on Saturday morning with a headache and an empty envelope. It’s “Heavy Metal Banjo” after all.

So who are the Bandits then? Well, according to their Facebook bio, “Bootyard Bandits are a bootscootin’ heavy country rock band” belonging to the “Heavy Comedy Country Rawk” genre. The bandits are CJ Handsome (vocals/guitar) Bamm-Bamm (drums) Two Puds (bass) Big Mac (banjo/guitar) and Joey Bones (guitar). If you ever caught The Defiled, Grim Reaper, Fury or Villains in the past, or more recently Aaron Buchanan and the Cult Classics, then some of the faces might be known to you, hell you might even recognise Two Puds from his stint with Tequila Mockingbyrd/The Amorettes. Sober enough to remember an Alestorm gig? Then you might have witnessed CJ doing his “one-two” shtick as he set up the guitars and worked the backline.

‘The Very Best of Bootyard Bandits’ is five tracks of bawdy, daft, country rock that would even make the Queen’s Guards at Buckingham Palace break out in a smile. However, if you are offended by Alestorm’s ‘Fucked With An Anchor’ then move along, nothing here for you. It’s refreshing to listen to a band that is totally “un-pc” and rally against all social media trends. Current single ‘Shirt Potatoes’ for instance; it’s the usual tale of boy-meets-cowgal, but it would seem that despite the gal being nuttier than squirrel shite, two of her attributes makes CJ Handsome weak at the knees…”I’d sell my 4X4, my tractor and my gun, for one more night with her ladybumps” Offended? C’mon, how can you be offended by a band who sweated blood for nearly a year making an adult stop-motion video using Lego pieces? Said video, for the line-dancing-with-a-difference ‘Hoedown Showdown’, is the perfect example of what to expect from Bootyard Bandits. Damn good fun. On the subject of line dancing, surely ‘Country Music’ (with the emphasis on the first syllable…think about it) is the unofficial party anthem for every Metal festival out there? If Night Flight Orchestra can get a conga line going at a gig, then Bootyard Bandits can surely get a pissed up audience to do-si-do?

Worried about the music on offer being too daft? Then why are you here? But, close your eyes and fill your boots on the crunching ‘One Hell Of A Night’. imagine a ballsier Nickelback with Christopher Bowes from Alestorm on backing vocals, extolling the virtues of booze. Ramp that up 100% and you’re almost there. With all this joking around, it’s easy to forget that Bootyard Bandits only play it for laughs. When it comes to their musicianship, they are deadly serious. Even on closing track ‘Ladies Man’, when they are talking about being a “Rockin’ gigolo”, the riffs and pounding drums are still there for all to enjoy.

These five hombres play with their tongues firmly in their cheeks and are the perfect band to call on if the lockdown is making you cranky, but beer and a sense of humour are mandatory requirements.

Available April 17th, pre-order here cowpokes.

Review – Three Puds


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