REVIEW: Volbeat “Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies”/Shiner Bock

Volbeat comes from Copenhagen, Denmark, but I think their sound is straight out of a Texas rockabilly bar, with some very metal guitar work. Makes sense, since former Anthrax member Rob Caggiano is now in the band and produced their latest record.

THE RECORD: Volbeat Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies 2013 Universal

File:Outlaw Gentlemen & Shady Ladies Album Cover.jpg

I think this record definitely has appeal with a variety of music lovers, from punk rockers to metal heads, even Metallica, whom the band opened for when they came to Denmark a few years ago.

“Room 24” is probably one of the heaviest tracks on the record. As it should, since it features vocals from King Diamond. The guitar work is absolutely face-melting on this one and the drums sound like a stampede. However, a few songs later is a surprising cover of Young the Giant’s “My Body”. Even if you’re not into the original, Volbeat’s version is pretty awesome. Michael Poulsen’s soaring vocals take this cover to a different, heavier level that rocks pretty hard.

“Lonesome Rider” is a total rockabilly treat, and features vocals from English singer-songwriter Sarah Blackwood. The contrasting male-female vocals work really well in this song, and kind of exemplify the title of the album.

“Doc Holliday” similarly starts off with a western-swing-sounding guitar that gives it a folk vibe, but then they turn up the badass a bit and it gets a lot heavier.

All the punk rock hooks give each of the tracks a certain catchiness and make Outlaw Gentlemen and Shady Ladies an incredibly fun record.

THE BREW: Shiner Bock- Spoetzl Brewery- Shiner, TX

I’ve heard a lot of reviews of this beer which say it’s overrated, but I disagree. It’s not trying to be anything crazy, it’s just a simple, good-tasting bock that’s available all year round. For a bock, it’s fairly light in color. Some sweetness, a little bit of caramel. A light head when you pour it into a glass that doesn’t linger too long. Certainly not as heavy as the classic German bocks, but then again, you can’t necessarily drink 3 or 4 of them in a row comfortably either.

THE PAIRING: This album calls for an easy to drink and easily accessible beer. Shiner Bock isn’t outstanding, but it’s definitely easy to find depending on what state you’re in, and certainly easy to drink. With a 4.4% ABV, it’s a session beer that you can have a few of if you’re seeing Volbeat live or listening to the album a couple times.

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