Review: 25th Anniversary: Best of Re-Recorded

Fans of rock music have a specific grudge against bands who have few or no original members left in their line up. Southern rockers Molly Hatchet is one of those bands but despite the fact they have lost so many, the group soldiers on. In 2003, the band released a compilation of sorts called, 25th Anniversary: Best of Re-Recorded. An album of re-recorded hits from the then latest line up.

Some people might call this blasphemy but I have come to really enjoy the later years of Molly Hatchet. Despite losing so many key members like Dave Hlubek, Danny Joe Brown and others, the group still sounds very tight and have produced a lot of satisfying heavy rock music for those who are willing to give it a listen.

One of their albums, the previously mentioned 25th Anniversary: Best of Re-Recorded features the group taking all the old classics like, Flirtin’ With Disaster, Gator Country and Whiskey Man, and giving a much needed kick up the backside. Where the original recordings all sounded very thin and weren’t particularly well produced, this album has a hard heavy sound that gives new life to these oldies. The guitar trio of Ingram, Maxwell and Galvin sound great through out as they play off one another. The lead guitar is a thing of beauty and the rhythm section sounds surprisingly clear, something Iron Maiden could really learn from. I found the vocal performance from Phil McCormack to be so similar to Brown’s voice that it was genuinely spooky. He sings each songs with the same passion found in the originals and does them no disservice.

The track list works really well for the most part. Each song plays into one another perfectly with a great sense of pacing. The only track I don’t quite understand is the one titled, 25th Anniversary Song. It is nothing more than a pointless interlude featuring some heavy chords and lasts no more than thirty seconds. Now, despite the fact that the songs have this wonderful heavy up to date sound, the album itself is very noticeably brick walled. There are a lot of audible artefacts heard through out the record and it really puts a damper on an otherwise excellent record. It is heard mostly when the guitar solos and harmonies come out to play, it is a shame but not the worst I have heard.

With the issues aside, the musicians do a wonderful job of being faithful to the original songs whilst making them sound more lively and considerably heavier. I really enjoyed this record. No doubt fans who want original members only will cry like babies, as per usual. Those who just want to rock will find lots to enjoy here. If you are interested, you can now pick this up in a budget five CD package featuring two live albums and the equally enjoyable Greatest Hits II.

Rating : 8 / 10

Where to buy :

Track Listing :

  1. Flirtin' With Disaster
  2. Bounty Hunter
  3. Gator Country (Dixie)
  4. Whiskey Man
  5. Fall of the Peacemakers
  6. Satisfied Man
  7. Beatin' the Odds
  8. One Man's Pleasure
  9. Big Apple
  10. The Creeper
  11. Jukin' City
  12. Goodbye to Love
  13. Bloody Reunion
  14. 25th Anniversary Song
  15. Epitaph/Memories/The Great Beyond
  16. Dreams I'll Never See
  17. Boogie No More