Hembree & The Satan Sisters have one clear message in their debut album. One that is repeated from start to finish, with vigor and venom. Their message is “fuck you,” and Hembree and his gang deliver this mantra like a piledriver through a flaming, thumbtack covered table.
Hembree's self-described vision of “fuck you rock n roll” reminds me of Overkill in the best way. And like the mighty Overkill, Hembree & The Satan Sisters possess one trait that is sorely lacking in heavy music today: attitude. Their inaugural F.Y.F., as in “fuck your feelings,” is a dropkick to the face with hot-blooded, Southern flare. Hembree has a voice like a belt sander, and a personality like bits of broken glass lodged in the bloody knuckle of the mind.
As a proper spectacle of violence should, F.Y.F. opens with a professional wrestling air of pomp and circumstance. The intro track “The Longhaired Weirdo Speaks!” sets the tone in classic carnie fashion, and is the only fair warning before the mayhem unfolds.
"Oh yeah, let's talk about our feelings, yeah," snarls the longhaired weirdo. His over-the-top sarcastic tone made this author laugh out loud. The longhaired weirdo has a menacing southern drawl that could pass for Psycho Sid in his prime, and yet, adds an endearing quality to the listening experience."Your feelings are gettin' ready to get hurt," he bellows.
The song “Fuck Your Religion And Fuck Your Politics," is the perfect mission statement for Zach Hembree, who goes full-on Sam Kinison in the vocal department. His crazed screams are matched by a rollicking rockabilly guitar riff, as the president, Allah, and Antifa are mentioned by name. The confrontational approach and coarse subject matter sizzle with nods to S.O.D.
"The right is never right and the left is always wrong / I'll waive my middle finger cuz I'm glad I don't belong," says Hembree, who establishes himself an All-American outcast, ready to serve an inclusive and nonpartisan beat down.
Hembree resembles a brawler like Balls Mahoney. He might not headline WrestleMania, but he'll put on one hell of a bloody show. The track "A Devil's Warning" is a furious number that tells the story of “don't fuck with me or I'll bleed you dry," in his own words.
“Nothing To Prove” is a clear stand-out track. This song takes a refreshing detour into pop-rock territories, like Jack White running off with a biker gang. It also showcases Hembree's singing skills alongside his earth-shaking roars. Warren Riker's production work is exceptionally smooth, the hooks are sweet as key lime pie, and a feminine voice repeats a "whoa-ho-oh-oh" for backing support, like a page out of The B-52s repertoire.
The songwriting dips on “Rape This Land,” a track that rings of recycled punk riffs I've heard countless times before, with hardly a memorable moment. “Dancin' At Your Suicide” comes off like it's trying too hard, and also not trying hard enough. The press materials mention this whole album was recorded in only two days, so maybe that's why some lyrics read like they were scratched in the toilet stall of a gas station. Certainly, Hembree is still clever enough to conjure a more colorful caliber of insults than “you stupid fucking bitch” for this song.
Despite these shortcomings, F.Y.F. keeps a brisk pace, and doesn't overstay its welcome. The album clocks in at about 15 minutes with only 7 songs.
Hembree saves his strongest cut for the closer, "Who's Laughing Now?” This one swings hard with a D-beat designed for maximum mosh pit destruction. It's rowdy and in your face, with an adrenaline-fueled swagger that is likely to please fans of The Bad Luck 13 Riot Extravaganza. Hembree's vocal performance is at its best, as his angry howls give way to clean vocals for its infectiously catchy chorus.
One final "fuck you!" from Hembree concludes the musical portion of F.Y.F., but not before The longhaired weirdo bids farewell with a Ric Flair-inspired "WOO!" His closing words are appropriate to end this review on.
"What did I tell ya? That was some good shit," he yells. "Now pick yourselves off the floor, and get outta here!"