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The Arkanes
Label: SPV Recordings
Release: 25.04.2014
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Buckle Up and Shove It
Peter Pan Speedrock
Label: Steamhammer
Release: 30.05.2014
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01 Been To Heaven Been To Hell
02 Safe In My Skin
03 Deep Water
04 American Pride
05 I´m Gonna Live ´Til I Die
06 Fly On Wings Of Angels (SomersSong)
01 As Heaven Is Forever
02 Tomorrows And Forevers
03 Vengeance
04 In The Darkness Of The Night
05 Justice
To Bobby Ingram, brain, guitarist and main songwriter of American Southern rock act Molly Hatchet, the term ‘justice’ is more than just a word. To him, this basic concept expresses his whole philosophy of life. Justice, fairness, trust between friends, family members, parents and their children: what could be more important? Molly Hatchet live this maxim, to them this solemn promise applies not only within the international Southern rock community, but also to their music and its impact on their fans. Yet Ingram saves himself any kind of self-assessment, leaving the verdict on his latest offering, Justice, to his audience. “Have we evolved as a band? Have we become better? Stronger? These are questions that everybody should answer for themselves when they have listened to our new album. I’m sure that the clarification of this matter will turn out in our favour.”

Ingram’s confidence, his joy and his pride in the new material on Justice are warranted. A dozen haunting rock numbers prove that Molly Hatchet are justly considered to be on a par with legends such as Lynyrd Skynyrd and the Allman Brothers. Justice is marked by hot Southern rock that could hardly be more powerful and diverse. Almost every single track signals its musical and thematic direction. As frontman Phil McCormack unmistakably sings on ‘American Pride’: “Got that American pride with that southern style, born and bred something deep inside.” And the title track goes, pretty much representative of the whole album: “We need some Justice to make the wrong into right.”

At the same time, Molly Hatchet don’t just broadcast these kinds of phrases, they fill them with altruistic commitment, the most impressive example being ‘Fly On Wings Of Angels (Somer’s Song)’, which is based on a true story. Molly Hatchet have dedicated this haunting track to seven-year-old Somer Thompson from Florida, who was abused and brutally murdered. Without a second’s hesitation, Ingram and the band supported Somer’s parents when they needed help, played a charity concert to raise money and informed the public about the tragic events. As a listener, you can’t help but be moved when you hear Somer’s sister Abby Thompson sing at the beginning and end of the track. “Coincidentally, a few days ago a prime suspect was arrested,“ Ingram says. “The indications are that he killed her. But we will be fair and not prematurely judge him until all questions have been answered. That’s also part of true justice.“

There are so many exciting aspects to discover on an album which presents Ingram, McCormick, Dave Hlubek (guitar), Tim Lindsey (bass), Shawn Beamer (drums), John Galvin (keyboards) at the pinnacle of their creativity. Molly Hatchet have recorded a true masterpiece not only in terms of their compositions, but also in terms of its production, Justice leaves nothing to be desired. Producer Ingram is responsible for the awesome sound, supported by sound engineer Tommy Newton, who mixed the album. “I wanted a warm, natural sound, which you only get with an analogue mixing desk,” Ingram explains his decision in favour of Newton and his Area 51 studio. And so Justice has turned into an album which impresses at all levels: earthy, dynamic, with a lot of love for detail and loads of energy. You could say: Molly Hatchet at their best!

The unusual band name refers to an apparently particularly love-hungry lady named Molly Hatchet, who lived in the 17th century and had her lovers decapitated after enjoying their favours. In 1978, the band signed their first recording deal and sold almost a million copies of their self-titled debut release. Molly Hatchet went on tour with Aerosmith and Bob Seeger that same year, and their second album release Flirtin’ With Disaster (1979) followed twelve months later. Their third album Beatin’ The Odds (9181) was a commercial success, selling over two million copies and entering the Billboard charts at no. 25. The group’s unmistakable trade mark is the warrior who appears on their album sleeves and was designed by the American fantasy artist, Frank Frazetta. Their fourth offering, Take No Prisoners (1981), made it directly into the Billboard charts. Two years later, Molly Hatchet presented their exceptional No Guts … No Glory (including the anthem ‘Fall Of The Peacemakers’). Their 1984 The Deed Is Done was the first release to meet with mixed reactions. While some attested the album with Hatchet’s typical blues rock and boogie feel, others criticized its all-too-polished sound. However, Molly Hatchet managed to reunite their fan base again with their live cut Double Trouble Live (1985), recorded in Dallas and Jacksonville. Their eighth album, Lightning Strikes Twice, saw the light of day four years later, followed by an almost seven year sabbatical, which came to an end with Devil’s Canyon in 1996. “After all those years, it was still a great feeling to pick up a guitar, connect it to an amp and start playing”, Ingram rejoiced at the successful comeback. “Devil’s Canyon put us back on the rock music map.” Two years and countless gigs later, Molly Hatchet presented their eleventh album Silent Reign of Heroes, followed by an 18-month world tour and the dynamic Kingdom Of XII. “Silent Reign of Heroes was not really a sinister album, but it did deal with the dark side of the band. Kingdom Of XII was pure fun. It’s an album for beer drinkers, for people who enjoy hoisting the rebel flag again,” Ingram compares the two studio recordings. A few weeks after the release, Molly Hatchet were back on stage in Germany to complete the recordings for their live release, Locked And Loaded in 2003. Their 2005 album, Warriors Of The Rainbow Bridge, was released in memory of Bobby Ingram’s late wife Stephanie, and today, five years later, Justice presents Molly Hatchet as a band which fills the spirit of the Southern community with life.

Justice * American Pride * Vengeance * Sacred Ground * Deep Water * Fly On Wings Of Angels (Somers Song) * As Heaven Is Forever * I´m Gonna Live ´Til I Die * Darkness Of The Night * Safe In My Skin * To Heaven And hell * Tomorrows And Forevers

NO GUTS ... NO GLORY (1983)
new: JUSTICE (2010)
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