Just so we’re clear on this fact: I am writing this under the influence (of cheesecake, from the factory where it was made). Glad that’s out of the way.
If you ain’t livin’, you’re dyin’.
That’s pretty much all you need to know about Elizabethton, Tennessee’s The Showdown.
They’re the kind of old school, underground metal band that wears their own t-shirts. For a point of reference, think Stryper if they wore flannel and cut-off tees and drank Budweiser from the can. Regular Budweiser, not even Light (or Lime!).
The problem with their 2007 release Temptation Comes My Way is, save for a few tracks, a lack of punch. Bruce Fitzhugh, the producer for their debut A Chorus of Obliteration, is strangely absent from Temptation, so that may account for the lack of his direction. But with the exception of the title track, “Breath of the Swamp” and a raw cover of Kansas’ ubiquitous “Carry on Wayward Son,” for me Temptation is mired somewhere above mediocrity but below being worthy of multiple spins.
The Showdown’s music can best be described as down-home, whiskey-soaked metal with an 80s influence. But maybe they stuck too closely to their laurels for this album, because it lacks the edge that Obliteration showcased and the punch that Back Breaker had as well.
“It Drinks From Me” at least attempts to do something different, an acoustic-driven one-off. “We Die Young” kicks off sounding like any 80s hair metal song ever, which is awesome, but falls off after that. Which seems to be a theme for the band: starting strong, followed by a plateau for the duration of the song.
At least the album brought us “Fanatics and Whores” which is both its best song and hilariously edited by iTunes:
From the weakest album in their discography, here is the title track, “Temptation Come My Way” –
Standout tracks: “Breath of the Swamp” and “Fanatics and Whores”
Weakest track: “We Die Young”
RIYL: Straight up metal. Anything from the 80s hair metal bands. Also, Living Sacrifice.
*Hershey’s chocolate bar cheesecake. Decadent and rich, just how I like my women.