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Do or Die (Deluxe Version)

The BossHoss

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Album Review

Anyone who has ever puzzled over the unlikely question about how Rammstein would have sounded, had they been in love with country and heartland rock, not industrial metal, has the answer served on a plate with Do or Die. Sure, the two bands are nothing alike musically, but the general idea is the same — a bunch of macho Berliners who took a pointedly irony-free style, streamlined it and made it into a deadpan joke, but ended up with some catchy, if silly, music in the process. Bosshoss' much-touted "country trash punk rock" label is far too showy for its own good, but it has a point — the music on Do or Die is rooted in country, but this is country on steroids, on speed, and probably on the run from the law. You get the melodies expected from this genre of music, as well as some fiddle and lyrics of the "I wanna make sweet love to you" kind, but the music is played at a punk speed and comes drenched in dirty rockabilly overtones, while the vocals recall a demented Elvis, giving the tunes almost a goth rock vibe. In fact, this is not so much country as garage rock in a stetson hat, but the main point is whether it rocks, and it rocks hard: Do or Die could have been trimmed a bit to boost the overall effect — same as one good punch is enough to get the point across in a bar brawl — but there is not a single weak song on the record. With titles such as "Eagleize It" or "21st Century Buttkickin' Love Affair," you know they aren't 100 percent serious, but it feels like the irony is a cover-up allowing Bosshoss to enjoy playing this type of music without being embarrassed over it — and it works for the audience just as well.

Biography

Formed: 2004 in Berlin, Germany

Genre: Country

Years Active: '00s, '10s

Berlin-based weisenheimers the Bosshoss reinterpreted contemporary pop and hip-hop hits in the style of traditional country music. Singer/washboardist Boss Burns (born Alec Völkel), singer/guitarist Hoss Power (Sascha Vollmer), lead guitarist Russ T. Nail (Dean Micetech), bassist Gus Brooks (André Neumann), mandolinist Hank Doodle (Mathias Fauvet), and drummers Frank Doe (Ansgar Freyberg) and Ernesto Escobar de Tijuana (Tobias Fischer) co-founded the Bosshoss in 2004, taking the name from a song...
Full bio
Do or Die (Deluxe Version), The BossHoss
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