Album Review: Moonshine Bandits - "Whiskey And Women" Deluxe Shiner Edition
By: Matt Bjorke
There are times that even I'm surprised by bands that come across my desk and one of those band's is Moonshine Bandits, a California-based duo who have built up as rabid a fan base in the western states as Colt Ford has built up in the southeast. The band's sound isn't not too far from what Colt does, mixing roots music and country sounds with hip hop vocal rhymes and percussion. On Whiskey and Women (Deluxe Shiner Edition) the band showcases their sound over the course of 16 mostly fun tracks.
new song "Shotgun Shells & Shine" starts off the record (listen here) and showcases the band's hip-hop roots and while they clearly are more aggressive with some lyrics than Ford or even The Lacs, the duo knows their way around a nice rhyme and delivery. The song begins a strong three song oping act that ends in less than 9 minutes meaning the boys are brief with their lyrics and melodies and just create songs that feel fun and it's easy to see how they've cultivated their loyal group of fans (called Shiners). The guitars on "Shine With Me" are a twangy delight, the kick drum invites dancing and "Whiskey River" has a melody that recalls the sound of The Tennessee Two who gave Johnny Cash his distinctive sound.
"For The Outlaws" (listen here) features Colt Ford and Big B and and it is much more of an aggressive country hip-hop track than the first three tunes but loses none of the band's charm and fun. "Moonshine On Me" is a sort of ballad from the group and features the dulcet vocal tones of Danny Boone of Rehab in the chorus and a rap. It's laid-back, melodic and easy to like, much like the rect of this record. Danny Boone also appears on "Dive Bar Beauty Queen" (along with Pruno). There's some twangy Telecasters backing up the smooth rap from Moonshine Bandits while Danny's vocal gives the hook a strong, interesting feel.
"Super Goggles" was remixed by the Average Joes guys and immediately made the song one of the band's best songs, even if it's not the most 'country' of songs on the record. Other standouts on the record are "Addicted," with Paradime, "American Pride" and "Hell Rasin' Country Boy," which features Big Smo, an artist signed to Warner Brothers Nashville. Not every song on the record works to my liking but that's to be expected on any album. Still, the highlights far outweigh the negatives and this "Deluxe Shiner Edition" of Whiskey and Women features six videos from the band on the DVD that comes with the CD release.