By Al Kaufman
Say what you will about any of the three Hank Williams', but the one thing they all have in common is a rebellious streak. But the most rebellious of them all has got to be the grandson, Hank III.
Instead of going the country route like his grandpa and his dad, Hank III always played thrash and metal music. That is until child support payments caught up with him and he realized it was time to cash in on his name and make some real money. And even though his four curse-laden CDs for Curb records dealt mostly with drugs and debauchery, his music and singing was a throwback to the old days, and country fans starving for something, and someone, genuine ate it up.
But Williams still liked the thrash. During his concerts, the audience was usually treated to at least a 30-minute punk/metal set. Some walked out, some stood around dumbfounded, but most appreciated his passion.
Williams has finally put all that passion on record with the self-titled Assjack. Unlike in concert, where Assjack is a band, on this CD, every yell, every fuzzy guitar, every pounding drum is all Hank III. He deals with the same redneck issues of drugs, death and violence, but this time he shreds some vocal chords and guitars screaming about them.
On his last country CD, Damn Right, Rebel Proud, Williams essentially told the Grand Ole Opry where they could go. He explains himself more succinctly in the final cut of Assjack, "Doin' What I Want." "Don't give a fuck," he spews over over chugging guitars. You can't help but get the feeling he means it.
This is real stuff. Williams has worked with Pantera/Down vocalist Phil Anselmo in the past, and he's been playing this psychobilly music for longer than he's been playing country. This is not for country fans, but metal heads could do a lot worse than Assjack.