You’re right! Hellyeah ain’t no Pantera or Damage Plan (or Mudvayne or Nothingface), so if you enter your listening experience with those kinds of expectations in mind, of course you’re going to be disappointed. However, if you listen to Hellyeah expecting nothing or, at the very least, some straight-forward Southern-fried hard / , you might find that you actually can get into it. That’s exactly what happened to me when I first heard Hellyeah’s self-titled debut and, in fact, I ended up jamming pretty hard to a couple key tracks on that album—though “Alcohaulin’ Ass” always made me feel like dirty white trash.
Vinnie Paul might best set fans’ expectations straight: “When you play in a really focused metal band like Mudvayne oror Nothingface, it’s a really touchy thing to step outside those boundaries.”
Hellyeah – “Cowboy Way”
Hellyeah’s sophomore effort, Stampede, doesn’t necessarily disappoint either. Released July 13, 2010, it’s certainly taking awhile for it to make its rounds despite debuting at Number 8 on the Billboard 200 album chart. And though they’ve been on tour, it doesn’t help that the big push that is the Jagermeister Music Tour doesn’t feature Hellyeah until January 19, 2011. Other bands that are on that ticket include Buckcherry, All That Remains, and The Damned Things.
If you like sludgy, Southern metal with lots of groove, you’ll be plenty satisfied when Stampede kicks off with two of the album’s heavier tunes, “Cowboy Way” and “The Debt That All Men Pay.” The latter track is about the closest the album comes to being anything reminiscent of Pantera—if that’s something that you’re looking for. By the time you hit Stampede’s third track, “Hell of a Time,” Hellyeah manages to dive into some Lynyrd Skynyrd-style of rock, emphasized by the lyrics “It’s just the good ol’ boy in me/I got my friends I got the recipe/For one hell of a life./I got my girl got my family/Got my booze and that’s all I need/For a hell of a time.”
After “Sweet Home Alabama” Hellyeah jumps right back into the testosterone to deliver the album’s title track, “Stampede,” which should be an MMA entry song; check out these lyrics if you don’t believe me: “Tear away all conviction/Beat him into submission/Threatening my existence/And abuse the boy/I’m numb to violence/Buried deep, buried under/Like a nail-beating hammer/I’m the storm/I’m the thunder/I’m the lighting, boy/No more striking me/I am the butcher/I’ve come to slaughter.” But by the time Hellyeah hits “Better Man” you might be questioning the band’s authenticity as the opening acoustic guitar sounds eerily similar to The Cult’s “Eddie Ciao Baby” before starting to sound like “Fade to Black.” Don’t get me wrong, “Better Man” is an endearing song and certainly speaks to a segment of the listeners, but you gotta know where it’s coming from.
The rest of the album is pretty much suitable for any bar with a pool table and a dart board, not that it’s bad, but there’s nothing exceptional about it.
Hellyeah’s Stampede is clearly targeted at good ol’ boys in the South who like a bit of punch in their music and at the Midwest. It’s decent and I kind of like it because it is powerful and unapologetic music, but I can’t see getting attached to the album for very long. Your best bet is to download the songs you like.
- Yell! Rating (x/5 Skulls):
- Year Released:
- July 13, 2010
- Heavy Metal, Southern Metal, Groove Metal
- Official URL: