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Jesse & The Hogg Brothers – “Get Hammered” LP

For a band with fans called Hoggaholics, you immediately get the sense that Jesse & The Hogg Brothers don’t take themselves too seriously. Even then, if you still want to take the band at face value and give them the benefit of the doubt as serious artists, look no further than their 2009 album White Trash Meth Lab (which is currently the most popular release on their Spotify at the time of writing this.) Boasting singles like “Wife Swapping Party” and appearances in films like Attack of the Killer Chickens, there’s no getting beyond Jesse & The Hogg Brothers as a comedic, musical force to be reckoned with first and foremost. Even still, there’s no denying the fact that the band is comprised of immensely talented musicians with deft attention to detail within their chosen craft. It just so happens that their chosen craft happens to be singing about the indelible details of life from barflies and fried foods to farting and America in microscopic, comedic detail.

As much as the song “Love Buckets,” which is about a man who can’t help but love a woman with a rapturous appetite for buckets of chicken and a face that breaks mirrors, might give you a deep belly laugh, there’s an important reckoning to be done on the listener’s part: comedic music is still only as good as the music can be in itself. If you go see a film and the acting is great, the visuals are on-point, but the sound is bad? That’s a bad movie. Similarly, if you listen to a comedy album with amazing one-liners but horrible production, that’s a bad album. Thankfully, Jesse & The Hogg Brothers seem fully aware of the importance of creating a great-sounding album and have nothing but their A-game to bring in regards to the actual instrumentality side of the songwriting. The lyrics are a lot less serious, it would seem, with almost every track edging into schoolboy humor territory, but the dynamic between heightened country-rock inhibitions while lead singer Jesse Braintree sings about a plethora of humorous tidbits and taboo subjects is a unique market the band has seemed to corner almost entirely.

It’s not all fart jokes, though, as the band manages to squeeze some sincerity out of the slower “Black & Blue,” a song that adheres to maintaining a fairly serious composure in the form of a duet based around heartbreak and pain. This brief glimpse into the band’s softer psyche quickly makes itself scarce, and brings about my biggest critique of the album: the comedy is brilliant and pulled off well, but there’s something integral and ultimately missing from the album’s makeup by not including more songs that break down the comedic facade, as seen in “Black & Blue.” The pacing of the album picks back up and chugs right along but the hole left by something even semi-serious leaves listeners with a resounding “What if?”

Still, the end result in Get Hammered is something worth giving your undivided attention to and whatever comes next from Jesse & The Hogg Brothers will only continue to impress. I doubt there will come a time when the group releases an album entirely devoid of jokes, and that’s okay — their brand recognition is strong, their fanbase secure, and their sense of humor is one for the books.

Mindy McCall



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