Volbeat - 'Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies'

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Volbeat - 'Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies'

Diverse, clever and ridiculously entertaining.

Much will depend on your view point as to whether you think that the novelty has worn off or if, like me, you think well if it ain't broke don't fix it regarding the Danish metal outfit's fifth album.

The mix of country, rockabilly and hard rock is still present and correct, but if anything the heavier material is heavier (check out the Sabbath-esque 'Room 24', the galloping riff monger 'Dead But Rising' or the Metallica flavoured metal of 'The Hangman's Body Count') while the quirkier moments are quirkier still. 'The Lonesome Rider' is a marvellous slice of catchy Rockabilly peculiarity and the country and western tinged 'Doc Holliday' would simply sound ridiculous in less capable hands.

On a more conventional note, there's plenty of melody on the foot tapping 'Cape Of Our Hero' or the excellent hooky 'Lola Montez'. No-one can accuse Volbeat of being conventional and once again 'Outlaw Gentleman And Shady Ladies' is diverse, clever and ridiculously entertaining, displaying some quite superb musicianship throughout.

With the addition of ex-Anthrax guitarist Rob Caggiano to the line-up (he also added guitar solos and aided the production of the album), Volbeat seem sure to consolidate their position as one of the most original and easily recognizable hard rock bands out there.

Mike Newdeck

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