Is Hank Williams III smoking crack, or are Th' Legendary Shack Shakers truly, as III suggests, "the best damn band in America"? We have no firsthand knowledge, as it turns out, of what Mr. Williams does when he's not making music, but we do know this: Th' Shack Shakers have earned the Legendary in their name as surely as the Rolling Stones have earned "The World's Greatest Rock 'n' Roll Band" in their list of "Things We Like to Call Ourselves." Their shtick is simple yet effective: gothic goofballs bringing shockabilly, metal, punk and polka to a barnyard dance while singer Colonel J.D Wilkes goes on about an Angry God, the Death Rattle Blues, and a barrel of monkeys. It's goofy as hell. And hell is pretty goofy, too, on Pandelirium, their latest effort. It starts with a laugh that could pass for The Big Bopper downing the contents of Hunter S. Thompson's trunk. And the music that follows is twice as maniacal, from a leadoff track that rocks like Satan's favorite heavy-metal polka to the Colonel reading an obituary over a wheezing accordion death-waltz.
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