Rebel Within

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The grandson of Hank Williams, Hank III sings We’ll break the rules and show ’em how it’s done on the rock/punk/country barnburner “Tore Up and Loud,” but the declaration invites a question—whose rules are being broken? Certainly any Hank III disc operates outside of conventional Nashville standards, but compared to his former work, Hank III’s fifth solo album is rather tame. While past albums like Straight to Hell celebrated his punk leanings as much as his country heritage, most songs on this disc bleed traditional country at their core, from “Drinkin’ Ain’t Hard to Do” to “Gettin’ Drunk and Fallin’ Down.” With lines like So this is the last time the needle’s going in to try to set my soul free from “#5,” Hank is a stark and unapologetic observer of his own shortcomings and life choices. He possesses a keen tenor voice more similar to his granddaddy’s than father Hank Jr.’s low baritone, which fits perfectly with this neo-traditional style.

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