“An onion ring’s the only ring she’s ever gonna get.” The aptly-titled track “Onion Ring” off of Jesse & The Hogg Brothers’ latest album Get Hammered hard boils the core themes of the album itself down to this single line, in a lot of ways. It’s hard to truly distill the purest form of the album down to a line when the album tackles lofty subjects like cream gravy, farting, and the gorgeous country we call the US of A, but by golly, I think it’s fully possible to at least attempt such a Herculean task. All silliness aside, Get Hammered is one resounding success of a country satire album and listeners might not fully gel with it… or they might need to listen more than once to get through it without crying laughing.
If you don’t believe me, give “Wait a Minute” a try. A song that starts as a somber country ballad quickly shifts gears when it opens with the lines “Wait a minute, I just farted. Wait a little longer, I just gut-started. Wait a minute, I just farted. Something in my ass has departed.” The song details the singer’s meal plan for the day, including burritos and beer for breakfast, and the pungent attention to detail within the song’s storytelling is something to truly marvel at. “Love Buckets” similarly praises a woman whose face can break a mirror, who has a butt as big as Texas, yet still looks like a million bucks. The humor is balanced with a sense of true musicianship and earnest Southern heart, which makes for a grand experience within Get Hammered. The interesting decision to end on a Christmas song in “Santa’s Got a Bag of Coal” lends itself to the band ending their 2009 album White Trash Meth Lab with a similar holiday-themed track. There’s simply no predicting the decision-making process behind Jesse & The Hogg Brothers so the best thing for audiences to do is strap in and enjoy.
Further standouts for the Hogg Brothers project include rockabilly punk rock tribute “We’re All in This Together,” which lampoons the preconceptions around punk songs by championing a sense of togetherness above all else. “The Hammer,” which inexplicably sees itself remade within the same album as “Texas Hammer” only six tracks later, works as a solid album opener that feels indebted to ZZ Top as much as it feels like its own twist on country-rock storytelling. “Biker Ann” carries on the same lyrical structure as it pitches the concept of a woman who “drinks more than a man,” certainly a character you’ve encountered in your local dive bar, though maybe not to such an extremity (spoiler: she dies in a makeshift police standoff by the end of the track.)
There’s a knack for capturing the incredulous yet humble and earnest approach to satire within Get Hammered that listeners will undoubtedly grow to appreciate with the more they listen. At first, the album might feel a wee bit impenetrable but upon deeper inspection, there’s something for everyone to love within its enigmatic, hilarious structure.