Review: Hellbound Glory “Damaged Goods”

Hellbound Glory
Damaged Goods

If  Reno, Nevada had a sound, it would be raw, dirty, down on its luck and heavy on substance abuse. Hailing from the Biggest Little City in the World, Hellbound Glory encompasses all things sex, drugs and country-rock, with their latest, Damaged Goods.

Hearkening back to the reckless days of Steve Earle, Hellbound Glory never fall short on living up to their chaotic name.  Taking listeners to the shady streets of their high-desert town, this isn’t an album for the weak at mind or stomach.  Jump starting the long road down, is the seemingly confessional, up-tempo “Bastard Child,” which makes it clear this group is on the same path as unapologetic outlaws like David Allan Coe and Merle Haggard with the line, “This ain’t no sob story, this ain’t no complaint, hell i’m proud of who I am and proud of what I ain’t.”

Continuing the desperate saga of fear and loathing, tracks like “Til The Lights Go Out” and “Lost Cause” bring out the high energy honky-tonk, while “Better Hope You Die Young” and “Bar Room Beauty” drag it down to the depths of despair and struggle. Though lost love is a common theme in country, “She Left Me in Modesto” puts one behind the wheel of a cold hearted, slow desert burn through the dusty California roads leading to the Sin City.

But with the constant darkness, come failed efforts to beat the demons.  For anyone whose ever attempted to stay on the wagon, “Knocked off the Horse” will surely hit close to home.  With angst and alcoholism, it’s clear that Hellbound Glory are playing honest music that ain’t always pretty, but proves these “damaged good ol’ boys” have no apologies for the chaos they create.  They might be playing on every stereotype in country, but somehow manage to come at listeners with a fresh perspective.

Damaged Goods is a solid offering rich with thematic storytelling, that will surely put a fire in the belly of the beast and a swagger in one’s two step. It’s an epitaph of anti-heroes, an ode to counter-culture and a trip to the barroom wild enough to get even the strong willed kicked out of their local AA meeting. For those who’ve traveled there, this album will remind them of Reno, in all its Hellbound Glory.

Hellbound Glory – Bastard Child


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