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Alabama 3 – Hits And Exit Wounds

June 6, 2008

This best of compilation from One Little Indian’s Alabama 3 is as at first glance representative of something ignorant. Anyone who names a song after Johnny Cash or Woody Guthrie is either ignorant or silly, and luckily Alabama 3 are the latter. Any chance of a London based acid house band staying true to musical Americana is slim to none, and if they tried, they would fail. Instead, they shamelessly bastardize it. The key to enjoying Alabama 3 is not taking them too seriously, because if you do, they will probably just anger you.

Alabama 3 are a dance group at heart, and their trick is that they dress up their dance beats with harmonicas, acoustic guitars, and growling country vocals. But less impressive than their style is their biting sense of humor. Throughout the course of this Alabama 3 retrospective, the band openly toys with the ideas of Johnny Cash, Bob Dylan, and macho militant sloganeers, and the state of modern music through dirty lyrics and vocal samples. This sense of humor does little to interfere with the band’s dance sensibilities.

Most of the time, they are in full on ass swinging mode. In particular, Hypo Full of Love, Woke Up This Morning, Mao Tse Tung Said, and Monday Don’t Mean Anything are particularly memorable not because of what they have to say, but because of how danceable they are. But the collection isn’t without its acoustic ballads as well. These two modes of play are fairly interchangable, and some of the bands more tender moments might be dressed up in catchy beats. I don’t know how much I can say for the album as a collection because I am not really familiar with the bands discography, but what is here is fun for what it is, and fans of dance music or anyone with a sense of humor about American styled music should check it out for sure.

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