There’s beauty in the fact that sometimes you get to do certain things just because you can. For Shelton Hank Williams III, that means getting to record four albums worth of material and release them on the same day. Crossing genres for the sake of expelling all available artistic juices, perhaps the most bizarre entry into HANK3’s release schedule is that of the 3 BAR RANCH CATTLE CALLIN’ album. Out this week on Williams’ own label aptly dubbed Hank3 Records (distributed through Megaforce), this sonic oddity is the first entry in a new genre classification: Cattle Core.
With 23 songs, 3 BAR RANCH is 1.2 hours worth of speed/thrash metal played behind the hyper-speed spoken word of cattle auctioneers. Imagine the Micro Machine Man (for all you 80’s kids) rockin’ the mic while some early Sepultura plays in the background. It’s weird enough to intrigue, while arty enough to be considered avant-garde. HANK3 breaks out some screams a la Mike Patton on tracks like Countin’ Cows and Cows Sold, and when the combination works, it really works. When it doesn’t, it’s noise.
Bottom Line: A sonic oddity indeed, 3 BAR RANCH CATTLE CALLIN’ is worth a listen for the curious, a purchase for the adventurous, and a pass for most everyone else.