Agony Column – “Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles” (1990)

Some real backwoods shiznit right here.  Without a doubt, the absolute highlight of this album is the title track.  A simple but effective riff, tons of attitude, and cool lyrics make Brave Words & Bloody Knuckles a song to keep coming back to.  These Texans were proud of their southern rebel heritage and let it pour through their songs like moonshine down a redneck’s gullet.  The sound was thick, swampy, and a little thrashy, with tongue in cheek lyrics jettisoned from the coarse throat of Richard “Devil Chicken” Turner.  Agony Column cooked up a strange brew, for sure, but it was an interesting little niche at least.  That said, nothing else on the album comes close to the cool title track.  (“F*ck with the best, you’ll lay with the rest, so get out of my f*ckin’ way!  I can see you’re a punk who could use a good beating, so come and make my day!”)  To be honest, the rest of the album is kind of lousy.  But I don’t think Agony Column had any notions of stardom.  My guess is they were just having a good time scaring the crap out of people with their unique brand of hillbilly metal.  My score: C-


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