Part of the fun of being a country fan who does not like most country music lies at the borders of the genre—the Mojo Nixons, the Robbie Fulkses, the occasional Butthole Surfers. A country song is a great place for weird people to do weird stuff, and Coffin Hunter is weird. It combines sprightly bluegrass banjo with the rhythm section of a honky-tonk band to cover the usual themes: driving, drinking, drinking and driving. These subjects are addressed in Jack Gibson's vocals, which follow a sleepy, spoken cadence that can only be described as rapping. As an album, it turns grating fast. As a show, it's probably rad.
Gibson is better known as the bassist for the thrash-metal band Exodus. Based on the number of tube tops that appear on stage with him, he's having a lot of fun with Coffin Hunter. The music is danceable but derivative, and the lyrics are clever but jokey. Here is Americana as remembered by people who learned about it from Merle Haggard: alcoholism and knife fights and leaving town, quantized in four-minute story raps. You'll like it if you like the C.W. McCall song "Convoy," ironically or otherwise.
Coffin Hunter plays the Badlander Monday, Oct. 24, on its Honky Tonk from Hell tour with The Cheatin' Hearts and local musician Aran Buzzas. Free.