When the smoke clears after rock ‘n’ roll dies for the final time, a select few artists will forever stand high above the hordes of lessers: Zeppelin, Norwegian black metal gods Mayhem, Bruce Springsteen, and, of course, Molly Hatchet. The Jacksonville six-piece drank, fought, and fucked their way into the hearts of millions with such memorable releases as Flirtin’ with Disaster and Beatin’ the Odds, and brought contemporary rock music, no wait…excuse me, contemporary music in general, to a higher tier than had ever been previously experienced.
The rasp of Danny Joe Brown’s vocals, combined with a three guitar attack makes the vast majority of Molly Hatchet’s output an aural slaughter, much like the depictions of medieval warriors brandishing their weapons who have graced nearly all of their albums. Live at the Agora Ballroom is one exception, instead featuring a band photo, albeit one in which guitarist is gripping a double-barrel shotgun. The music contained within is sharp enough to slay a full-grown deer, and when Danny Joe screams, “It’s a little piece of home we carry with us we call Gator Country!,” before the band launches into the song of the same name, you know the dude means it.
Bullshit artists they are not. To quote guitarist Dave Hlubek, “We’re not glamorous superstars, none of that fancy pansy stuff, poodle top haircuts. We’re six wild and crazy guys. It’s like a mule, we’re too dumb to give up.”
Guitarist Duane Rolland thrusts his axe skyward as if it was about to ejaculate, Bruce Crump pounds his drums as if his momma’s life depends on it. Banner Thomas plucks his bass like, well, like a bad motherfucker! Between “T Is For Texas,” “Bounty Hunter,” and “Boogie No More,” you’d swear Grace was in the group, because they’re just that amazin’.
They make .38 Special look like a water pistol. They turn the Marshall Tucker Band into the Marshall McLuhan Band. They prompt Blackfoot to become white. They are Molly Hatchet, and while you may not mess with Texas, you definitely don’t fuck with Hatchet.