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NASHVILLE PUSSYHigh As Hell (TVT)

During the early months of 1998, when Nashville Pussy‘s Let Them Eat Pussy CD first rocked its evil way into my heart, I rang up the editor at a guitar rag I used to write for and asked if I could do a feature on ’em. After all, the band boasted a husband-and-wife guitar team steeped in the glories of early ACDC, and a six-foot-somethin‘ tattooed chick who played bass and breathed fire with equal degrees of enthusiasm. In other words, what’s not to love? “Oh, no,” my esteemed editor tittered. “I mean, I would be embarrassed to even say their name at our next editorial meeting!”

Two years on, Nashville Pussy is on just about everybody‘s lips, thanks to tours with Marilyn Manson and Motorhead, and hundreds of incendiary one-nighters on their own; these days, most editors I know speak their name with a combination of awe and amusement. So what does this hard-touring, harder-living band do for an encore? It’s called High As Hell, and it‘s pretty much Let Them Eat Pussy, Part II. Blaine Cartwright stills howls things like “We’re gonna piss all over your town!” while sounding like Bon Scott with a gullet full of Drano, Ruyter Suys still has her Chuck Berry--via--Angus Young licks down pat, and Corey Parks and Jeremy Thompson still do the backseat boogie with the best of ‘em.

And yet, sometimes the concept feels like it’s wearing about as thin as one of Corey‘s G-strings. “Piece of Ass,” “Shoot First and Run like Hell” and “Blowjob From a Rattlesnake” don’t offer much beyond good titles and hot riffs. “Go to Hell,” a Skynyrdian ballad of revenge, finds Cartwright intoning the lines “Last night I caught my wifeFuckin‘ two of my friendsSmile on her faceA dick in each handGuilt running down her chin.” After a killer verse like that, you think something really freaky is gonna happen, right? Like maybe he’s gonna make his buddies give him head at gunpoint, or maybe he‘ll videotape the scene and get rich selling copies to curious hillbillies. Alas, he just blows them all away, then spends the rest of the song running from The Man. Ronnie Van Zant might have liked it like that, of course, but I’m hoping next time they‘ll find a way to burrow deeper into the swamp muck that spawned them.