Atlanta's ARTIMUS PYLEDRIVER was named after LYNYRD SKYNYRD drummer Artimus Pyle, which goes a long way toward explaining the southern rock boogie and redneck soul that defines the band's self-titled debut. Whiskey swilling, southern bad boy HARD rock filled with concrete tough rhythms and a boatload of twin-guitar fire is at the core of these 10 tracks. Oddly enough, it was DEVILDRIVER's Dez Fafara that hooked the band up with DRT Entertainment, for whatever that's worth.
The bulk of these memorable tracks are of the mid-tempo stomping variety, led by Dave Slocum's smoke-damaged (think a southern Brian Johnson) vocals and the hot licks of Damon Goldsmith and Jimmy Hall. The bass playing of Mike Faulkner is thick and mean, often moving beyond pure rhythm support, while drummer Travis Owen pounds with chokehold in-the-pocket playing and accents nicely throughout, whether with cowbell swagger or caveman power fills. Nasty and defiantly Confederate strutting is the mark of tracks like "Ride On", "Dixie Fight Song", "High Life", and the creeping swamp pummel of "Up the Creek". Though no doubt inspired by many of the same influences, the main riff on "Shaggin' Ass" has a definite CORROSION OF CONFORMITY ("Deliverance" period) feel and about as much prettiness as a pair of worn out, grease-stained overalls. "Dirt Road White Girl" is noteworthy for its bad ass boogie woogie chorus. With the exception of the no-bullshit rocking of "Swamp Devil", and the catchy "Gone to the Mountain", the band prefers to ride the aforementioned mid-paced groove, tossing in vintage solos and roughhewn riffs.
This is undiluted southern baked hard rock with a very slight sludge sensibility. It is meant to be played at full volume with a tub of ice cold beer, rot gut whiskey within reach, and red meat burning on the grill. Ain't a damn thing wrong with that.