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CD Review Unknown Hinson

Unknown Hinson - Target Practice

Coffin Case Records
Reviewed By Scott Homewood

The world's last country-singing, chart-topping troubadour is back with another album, this time on upstart label Coffin Case. The label's name is apt (as fans of Hinson's know) as Hinson kinda gives off the pasty-face vibe of the undead. In fact, there is a slight legend Hinson always downplays that suggests he is a vampire. I don't know how someone would prove such a thing unless they carried garlic with them to one of Hinson's gigs but we're not here to talk about the man so much as we are here to talk about the man's music.
All musicians have their faults, as you know. They are all human. Or are they?
This is the fifth album for Charlotte, NC's chart-topper and Hinson continues in the (jugular?) vein that has given him so many hits: classic country music with a little bit of rawk thrown in to interest the youngsters. It's the same format as one of Hinson's too-infrequent live gigs. At first he starts out with some solid, Hank Williams-style country music (which Hinson would probably say Williams stole from him) and then, before too long, Hinson will break out in to some classic '60's psychedelic rawk. Once the holdovers in the audience are hooked, Hinson usually goes back to his hardcore country, occasionally slipping in a Cream or Hendrix song just to prove he can hang and to grab the youngsters lest they stray away from Hinson's solid country chart-toppin' style. This album is similarly schizophrenic - jumping around from classic hard rock sounds to stone cold country and back again several times.
Those used to Hinson's misogyny will find a lot to love here as he rarely strays from the theme he's been working for the past several years and on all of his records: woman are subservient to men and he's king of all men. While some may consider it crass or crude and maybe an overworked joke, Hinson has always carried himself like he isn't joking. He rarely strays from his theme and, frankly, embodies the character he portrays so well that the songs just sound natural. If you've followed Hinson's burgeoning career, by now you almost exactly what he's going to say and when he's going to say it. Familiarity may eventually breed contempt, but right now he makes it seem cool to be in on the joke with him.
Songs like Stalkin the Wild She-Beast, Satan In A Thong and I Won't Live In Sin With You give a hint as to the sort of feelings Unknown has about the ladies, so beware. Basically, he wants to divide and conquer....their legs and what's 'tween them, that is. Just remember that all of Unknown's songs have the same kind of corny/sophomoric/lovable wordplay we are used to from Unknown and his music is comparable to AC/DC in that if you like Hinson, you'll like everything he does and if you don't, well, you won't. That his music sounds pretty similar from album to album makes the comparison even more apt. Oh yeah, I believe Unknown and AC/DC both worship the Devil as well. But those are minor quibbles. People who pay attention to his voice will recognize him as playing the main character in the popular Adult Swim cartoon series Squidbillies.
If you like your comedy to sound like country music and your country music to sound like a demented Hank Williams who might've moonlighted for the band FEAR, you'll just love Unknown Hinson. Somebody get this guy a TV show!!


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