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High As Hell

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Album Review

Unrepentantly vulgar and sleazy, Nashville Pussy came storming out of the south in the late '90s, riding a wave of Southern rock and psychobilly to become a cult favorite among indie rockers and wannabe bikers alike. They got enough exposure and sales with their debut Let them Eat Pussy to be briefly signed to Mercury Records just before the Universal-Polygram merger that led to the mega-major jettisoning of any "marginal" act like the quartet. Nashville Pussy landed on their feet, signing to TVT and cutting their second album, High As Hell, with Fastback's Kurt Bloch. There was a certain amount of anticipation for the album when it hit the stores in the summer of 2000, since no other hard-rock band even tried to be as greasy, dirty, and fun as Nashville Pussy. Well, fun is a subjective term, of course, and not everybody will find this stupid, borderline obscene rock & roll fun. Honestly — only a minority of rockers will find overpoweringly loud songs like "She's Got the Drugs" and "B*****b from a Rattlesnake" contagious, but those that do will have a hard time turning down High as Hell. It's hardly an artistic progression from Let Them Eat Pussy — it's more of a replication, really — but that's not really a problem, since that's not what the group is about, anyway. Nashville Pussy is about sex, drugs, sleaze, and rock & roll. They're not about music or melody, they're about attitude. They can't sing, they avoid melodies like the plague, they don't even really write riffs, and when they do, it seems like they've stumbled upon them. What they do is make a lot of noise. With the assistance of Bloch, they make a lively, dynamic, visceral record, but it never transcends above the level of sheer noise because there's nothing to hold onto — no riffs or hooks, nothing to distinguish one song from the next, apart from a couple of shouts or the extended jamming on the closing "Drive." Of course, that may not matter to a lot of their fans, since it just delivers 12 tracks that virtually duplicate the virtues of the debut — and that may be all some listeners are looking for.


Formed: 1996 in Atlanta, GA

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s, '00s, '10s

Atlanta-based sleaze rockers Nashville Pussy are led by the husband-and-wife duo of singer/guitarist Blaine Cartwright and guitarist Ruyter Suys; also featuring bassist Corey Parks (the sister of NBA star Cherokee Parks) and drummer Jeremy Thompson, the group (named in reference to a line from Ted Nugent's Double Live Gonzo! LP) debuted in 1998 with the album Let Them Eat Pussy, originally issued on Amphetamine Reptile. An underground favorite, the record was reissued on major label Mercury later...
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