To paraphrase that old commercial, with a name like Shitkickers, you better be good. Well, if drinking yourself into a catatonic stupor is your idea of a good time and if your picture is in the dictionary under the definition for ?shitfaced,? then this San Jose sextet?s third album will defnitily fit the bill. With titles like ?Beer ?n Bacon,? ?I Need A Bottle,? ?Bloody Mary? (in two versions, no less!), and?Whiskey Haze,? these party animals where their hearts on their sleeves and their bottles on the wall. With 16 tracks whizzing by in a 30-minute alcoholic blur, ?Noon?s Moonlight? is like the Ramones turned in their leather jackets for Wranglers, flannels, and cowboy hats.
Lead guitarist Shawn Packer is more memorable here for his nimble-fingered banjo picking, and on opener ?Burn It Down,? he sounds like Flatt & Scruggs with a hangover. The anthemic, drunken campfire shoutalong, ?Beer ?n Bacon? sounds like Commander Cody traded in his Lost Planet Airmen for Camper Van Beethoven. The banjo and Murray Bowles? viola are prevalent throughout, retaining that light and happy-footed CVB vibe. [Come to think of it, I believe CVB also hail from San Jose! Hmmm? Must be something in that Silicon Valley water besides computer chips ? probably the hops!] The title track is another rousing, toga-party anthem, and female drummer Julie Freitas contributes the galloping ?Lonely Getting? By,? proving she can hold her own (and her liquor) with the good ol? boys. The band confess to a fondness for Mexican food and music (must be a California thing), and the boot-stomping hoedown ?Pacifico Clara? is a fitting tribute to their favorite cervesa, sung in drunken Spanish, and played with mucho gusto ? sort of like The Band I Heard in Tijuana with a king-sized hangover.
So if you?re feeling lonely and need a little pick me up, grab a case of your favorite lager (the band are partial to Coors) and spend a drunken morning, afternoon, and evening with the Shitkickers. Highly recommended to fans of CVB, Mojo Nixon, The New Drunken (sic) Imperials, Commander Cody, toga parties and keggers. Hot damn, hallelujah, next round?s on me, boys! 8/10 -- Jeff Penczak (11 September, 2006)