listening booth: the yayhoos, “put the hammer down”


The Yayhoos – Put the Hammer Down (2006)
purchase this album

The Yayhoos are Eric Ambel, Terry Anderson, Dan Baird, and Keith Christopher — and if those names don’t ring any bells, you need to repent of your foolish ways, my friend, because they’ve been responsible for some music you need to hear.

Baird, in particular, has been a favorite of mine since his days as a Georgia Satellite (of which Christopher was an original member, and for which Anderson wrote the classic “Battleship Chains”:yeah, Southern rock is incestuous); as a result, I unfairly judge each new Baird-related recording against the Sats, and they always come up short.

As does Put the Hammer Down, inevitably, but not by a whole hell of a lot. I mean, it isn’t as great as the Satellites getting back together and picking up where they left off. But not much would be. Let me put it this way: It’s only April, but I’m relatively certain that this is going to be, hands down, my favorite rock & roll record of the year. It’s the kind of album that starts whispering “Play me LOUD” as soon as you get the plastic off the cover. Filled top-to-bottom with songs that contain subliminal messages which will keep your hand on the volume knob until you actually are playing it LOUD.

This album smells like sweat, beer, and garlic fries.

It’s tough to pick a favorite song here, or even just two to give you a taste. I think I’ll have to go with the good-natured snarl of “Where’s Your Boyfriend At” (download) and “Gettin’ Drunk” (download), but that doesn’t mean the rest of Hammer doesn’t have a lot to offer, from the NRBQ rip “Everything/Anything” to the covers of “Love Train” and “Roam” to, well, pretty much every other song on here.

Enough already. I want some beer and garlic fries. Just buy the damn thing.