I wanna be supportive of Vinnie Paul, I really do … but man, this is really horrible.
I respect Vinnie’s decision to get back into music. After watching his brother gunned down on stage by a maniac, no one would have blamed Vinnie if he’d hung up his drum sticks and never entered the music scene again. So hooray for him for being able to put past (Pantera, Damageplan, Dimebag’s death) behind him to move forward.
But, good God, of all the projects to choose, why this?
There are so many things wrong with HELLYEAH that’s hard to know where to start. Let’s begin with lead singer Chad Gray. This guy is terrible – he was wretched with Mudvayne and he hasn’t gotten better. Those guys made Drowning Pool sound talented.
I had the misfortune of seeing Mudvayne on the main stage at Ozzfest in 2005 and wow were they a bore. The only moment that stood out in their set was when Gray yelled something like, “let’s have a cheer for the troops who are defending our freedom!” Uh, nice sentiment … but this was 2005, and by then anyone who could read a newspaper knew our armed forces had been sent into a war based on intelligence that was, at best, flat wrong. Sorry for the political rant, but my point is Gray was more than just the frontman for a poor man’s Disturbed … he was a tragically misinformed goofball as well.
And now we have “Cowboy Way,” from the band’s latest album “Stampede.” Let me tell you something about “Cowboy Way” – never in my life have I heard a larger collection of vapid redneck clichés strung together in one song. Even modern country music isn’t this ridiculously stupid and hackneyed. I thought HELLYEAH had sunk as low as they could go in terms of terrible lyrics with the dreadful “Alcoholin’ Ass,” but damn; that song was practically Shakespeare compared to “Cowboy Way.”
Check out the lyrical magic of the chorus: “Cowboy, hillbilly, whatever you say … what’s mine is mine and what’s yours is mine, that’s just a cowboy’s way.” Oh really? Don’t those words just want make you cringe in embarrassment for Gray? Or, more likely, don’t they make you want to smack the taste out of his mouth?
Here’s the train wreck for your listening “pleasure.” Enjoy the uber-down tuned “riff,” revel in Gray’s astoundingly bad quasi-rap, soak up the plethora of cowboy hats and dirty-looking people. Bask yourself, bask.
What I really hate about this is that we are already saddled with the stereotype of metal fans being dumber than sacks of dirt. While you know that’s not true and I know that’s not true, the average non-metal person believes it. Now, we have HELLYEAH, with Gray’s lowest common denominator lyrics that portray us as cretins out of “Deliverance” (the movie, not the Opeth song, just to be clear). Thanks, buddy.
OK, I’ve wasted enough time with this band. I’ll never mention them again. Promise.
Vinnie, we love you, but get a better band.
Decide for yourself