Like wearing a cowboy hat with a Sex Pistols t-shirt, the Von Ehrics have no problem mixing dirty country with a little punk rock. The Dallas-based trio thankfully sounds like nothing else being played right now. On Loaded, their third effort and first for Wisconsin indie Crustacean Records, the band is at their best so far in their admittedly short career. Loud, fast guitars and drums serve as the perfect backdrop to front man Robert Jason Vandygriffâ€™s twangy delivery. Any doubt that the band has what it takes to impress cynics melts within a minute of the bandâ€™s stellar version of Billy Joe Shaverâ€™s â€œOld Chunk of Coal.â€ They also do a decent take of Steve Earleâ€™s â€œA Week of Living Dangerously.â€ To tackle two of the Lone Starâ€™s best and do them justice is a pretty remarkable feat. And lest you think The Von Ehrics are just another country punk cover band, their originals like â€œBuy Me a Drinkâ€ record opener â€œJust leave Me Outâ€ and the destined-to-be-classic pick up song â€œIâ€™ll Be Yours,â€ are better than whatever you happen to be listening to at the moment.
Rating: 9 out of 10
The Von Ehrics â€“ Loaded/CD/10 tracks/Crustacean Records/www.vonehrics.com