Shitkickers: Noon’s Moonlight & Gunfighter Ballads and Drinking Songs


Noon’s Moonlight
Label: Big Bender Records
Release Date: 2006
Review Date: 7/13/06


Gunfighter Ballads and Drinking Songs
Label: Scary Records
Release Date: 2003
Review Date: 7/13/06

It’s always a pleasant surprise when we get something out of the blue and it’s not another a generic Hot Topic band. The Shitkickers had a couple songs on a Thrasher video. I can’t tell you which ones because my DVDs have disappeared and I lost the press sheet that came with the CD. I can’t imagine that pissing off the band too much as the the hand scrawled letter said I could “give ’em away or review them or whatever.”

Shitkickers make a brand of country and bluegrass with a little bit of swagger, self-depreciation, and hangover thrown in it. Imagine “Oh Brother Where art Thou?” as if directed by Alex Cox. Well, that may not be a good analogy. (I’ll take any excuse to mention Repo Man) I’m not really an aficionado of the genre, but that’s ok. I don’t expect the Shitkickers cater to music snobs. What they lack in historical musical accuracy and production values they make up for in spirit and sense of humor. For example, Noon’s Moonlight was recorded at legendary Sun Studios in Memphis Tennessee. While probably not a financially responsible decision all things considered, they probably just wanted to do it for the experience and decided to go for it. I’m not sure if it improved the general listening experience of Noon’s Moonlight, but it probably made the Shtckikers happy.

Gunfighters Ballads vs. Noon’s Moonlight. Gunfighter is generally more raucous and not as clean sounding as Noon’s Moonlight. Gunfighter has a better cover design too. The Noon’s Moonlight liner notes trade lyrics for a short sentence or two about each song that gives you a little more insight to the character of the band. Noon’s Moonlight sometimes features prominant female vocals which adds another dimension to the songs. Overall I like the songs a little better in Gunfighter, But Noon’s Moonlight is a more rich recording that will grow on you.

Shitkickers have a good sense of humor and sometimes their lyrics are more clever than the delivery and band name would suggest. If you like good drinking music with a fiddle (well viola) and a banjo, you can’t go wrong with either of these disks. So called Alt-Country without the bullshit. Each disc is about a half hour long so you won’t get sick of it if the music is a departure from your usual playlists. From San Jose California. Check them out.

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