Black Label Society Hangover Music

I’ve been trying for years now to really get into BLS. I mean, I realise Zakk Wylde is a great guitar player, and everyone else under the sun seems to love this band, but I just never got it. The vocals kind of stink, the production is always troublesome, and the songs, meandering at best. But Hangover Music shows a whole new side of Wylde, and I like it. Really bringing to mind some of the best ballads from ’70s heroes Skynyrd or the Allman Brothers more than anything, this mainly acoustic album is low on heaviness, but high on passion. I still find Wylde’s voice to be a bit much at times, too low register and just not tuneful enough. However, sometimes emotion is more important than having a pretty voice, as is the case here, Wylde crooning his way through a whole whack of great beer-sippin’, heart-breakin’, porch-sittin’ anthems. Standout cuts include the sombre "Damage Is Done” and "She Deserves A Free Ride (Val’s Song),” which just makes me feel like it’s 1977 and all is right in rock and roll again. Good music to grow old and die to. Geez, imagine what I say about the BLS albums I don’t like. (Spitfire)