Album Review: Damaged Goods by Hellbound Glory

Hellbound Glory is a damn fine honky-tonk band.  I can see why the folks over at XXX dig them so much.  They really are that good.

Recurring themes on Damaged Goods include drinking, drugs, heartache, and loneliness.  This is 21st Century outlaw music.  You like that sort of thing?  Then you'll love this album.  Hardscrabble down tempo tunes like "Better Hope You Die Young," "Lost Cause," and "Barroom Beauty" treat death, addiction, and other dark topics with, if not grace, then a kind of humility.  The uptempo tunes can be moving, too, but they're also great foot tappin' good-timin' songs.  Listening to this album, it's easy to picture yourself in a roadside tavern, drinking a few and dancing with strangers.

Damaged Goods is an album any country music fan should enjoy, but it doesn't hurt to bring some sort of hard-living personal experience to it.  These are amoral songs, but in the best sense.  The album explores working-class redneck troubles without judgement.  It's the strangest kind of negative beauty.  The characters in this album are offered no redemption.  These are people who won't come anywhere close to the American Dream, and, you know, they don't want it, either.  Damaged Goods is on par with the best of David Allan Coe, and fans of his should definitely get this album.  It's all about raw working-class desperation, unfiltered, unapologetic.

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