SCATTERED HAMLET – Swamp Rebel Machine (2016)
“Swamp Rebel Machine” is the new (their second) album from US quartet SCATTERED HAMLET, and as you guess from the title and cover artwork, this is bourbon-soaked rock n’ roll.
Scattered Hamlet classify themselves as ‘Honky Tonk Metal’ and that classification is perfect. They have firmly planted their roots in a southern style of metal with a tremendous amount of blues.
It’s not surprising that they mention some of their influences from Lynyrd Skynyrd, Molly Hatchet, ZZ Top, Blackfoot, etc. Instantly, the correlation to these “southern fried” metal acts will be formed, but for me there’s also clear old school sleazy coated influences of ’80s acts like Junkyard, Tora Tora, Sweet FA, Every Mothers Nightmare, Spread Eagle, and even Tesla.
Vocalist Adam Joad is a great in-canter of Junkyard‘s David Roach (a lot), Adam Newell is as talented a guitar player swinging back and forth from full blown shredding to finger pickin’ to rhythm and blues with the ease and efficiency the most seasoned and proficient session players.
The rhythm section of drummer Jake Delling Le Bas and bassist Richard Erwin is top shelf, making their mark all the way and as tight as all get out.
Scattered Hamlet style is fun, fresh and flows like the finest bourbon. The different elements that complete the uniqueness in their music are vast just like their influences.
As the opener “Battle Hymn” sets the stage for what is to follow, the track simply slays. Slathered in sleazy and hard rock pedigree, this is an anthem for the working class that pummels the message ‘Don’t Fuck With Me’ into your psyche until you are chanting the mantra right into track two’s hard rocking “Whip-Poor Will.”
This is where the notion is confirmed that Scattered Hamlet and company mean business and if you aren’t strapped in, you’re gonna get thrown, pure energy, attitude and damn fine musicianship heated to a frenzy and served hot.
“Stonewall Jackson” is a tasty uptempo rocker with a Guns N’ Roses ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ inspired bridge that unless you’re tone deaf, you can’t miss. “Four Barrel Mojo” and “White Trash” are a pair of sleazy rock / Junkyard flavored anthems that will have you singing and swinging along before the end of the first chorus and then slapping on repeat cause they are just too damn infectious.
“Swamp Rebel Machine” is as swampy, sticky and hot as the title implies. This one grooves a bit more than the others as the tempo cocks down a notch, but the quality remains in spades. “Green Bastard” incorporates a killer funky guitar work providing variation.
“Outlaw Breed” is the third or fourth song that is slathered in cowbell, “Rimfire” goes right back into Junkyard mode ala Blooze with a killer riff and harmonica guitar duel of epic proportions. The hand claps are a nice touch as is the guitar progression.
“Buckshot” is where Adam Joad sounds more gritty and this hard rocker pays a massive nod during the verse to George Thorogood. Rounding off this no song skipping disc is the Cory Clark / Warrior Soul groove trip rocker “The Lesson” that preaches to the minions about good ole’ country music and the pride the founding fathers instilled in us.
Scattered Hamlet is a killer, gritty, greasy hard rock band that deserve your attention. The musicianship is too good and the playing is great. The songwriting, attitude and content grabs you, makes you think, laugh, scream, shout and becomes a part of you.
Each song has a reason to stomp, clap or head bang.
Got a case of the Mondays? Forget coffee, forget drugs, this album will get you up and motivated. If you have ever been a fan of any southern rock then you will absolutely love this album. “Swamp Rebel Machine” has something for everyone.
If you don’t feel, if you are not moved after listening to “Swamp Rebel Machine” by Scattered Hamlet, then you must be dead. These guys are a kick ass machine.
01. Battle Hymn
03. Stonewall Jackson
04. Four Barrel Mojo
05. White Trash
06. Swamp Rebel Machine
07. Green Bastard (feat. Johnny Crash)
08. Outlaw Breed
11. The Lesson
Adam Joad – vocals, harmonica, guitars
Adam Newell – lead guitar, slide guitar, vocals
Richard Erwin – bass, vocals
Jake Delling Le Bas – drums, percussion, vocals
Jake Rodenhouse – percussion, vocals
Johnny Crash – vocals
The White Trash Tabernacle Choir – vocals
John Barrish – vocals
BUY IT !