"If you're going to sound like a bar band, you might as well at least have fun with it, which The Rattlehounds do. In fact, they're hysterical without being "funny", without trying too hard or without making us laugh at them. They also defy the garage band aesthetic, which seems to dictate that albums devised by grown men in their spare time should sound like rehashed mediocrity. Their songs are simple and straightforward, but there's a twist of irony -- a "too smart for their own good" mentality that adds an extra edge to most of the tracks. Combined with the loose, greasy guitars and wry Southern rock inflections of frontman Mark Coram, The Rattlehounds is a thoroughly enjoyable spin.
Perhaps it's because the disc came in a sleeve with obviously Photoshopped snapshots of the guys in practice and the family dogs running amok that I expected very little from The Rattlehounds. When they kicked things off with a track called "Christopher Walken", I feared the worst, but lines like "Christopher Walken can off you / Christopher Walken can soft shoe" let me know that The Rattlehounds were no comedy slouches. Their lyrics are deftly off-kilter ("You're the trigger and I'm the gun... But that's alright / 'Cause the gun is getting loaded / Tonight" from "I'm the Gun"), and Coram's delivery carries several levels of irony in each syllable without ever seeming forced or self-congratulatory. On top of that, the band kicks out some impressive licks, with ghosts of the Georgia Satellites and Fleetwood Mac in the jams."
- Justin Kownacki
"In heaven, The Rattlehounds' "Christopher Walken" is on the best rock 'n' roll jukebox. With an Uncle Tupelo feel, The Rattlehounds dish out some of Knoxville's edgiest songs. This six-track EP features songs completed for a disc the band was working on when drummer Mike Flannagan died unexpectedly in June. Just the creepy and funny "Christopher Walken" and the great vintage garage-sounding "Working For Love" make the CD a steal at [the price]."
- Wayne Bledsoe, Knoxville News Sentinel
"This CD sounds like garage rock with a bit of Country influence to me, although the band describes itself as alt.country. Either way, the first song on the CD was listed as the number one single on Village Voice's Pazz & Jop Critics Poll for 2003. Like a lot of good rock/country, it is hard to figure out exactly what makes it sound so good. It's primitive, with simple guitar chords, no solos, and solid but not overly fancy production. Well, maybe that's why.
Of course, guitarist and vocalist Mark Coram has written six good songs here. And although the Rattlehounds are a trio (with bass and drums), the sound is filled out at the right spots with lap steel on 'I'm the Gun,' organ on 'Chasing Ghosts,' and harmonica on 'Workin' For Love.'
The humorous Country song 'Would Elvis Like Me?' is one of the best songs, whereas on many CDs such a track would be condescending and distinctly unfunny.
It is unfortunate that the drummer, Michael Flannagan, died at age 41 soon after this CD came out.
He was also a journalist and radio announcer. At least he left a nice legacy with this EP."
- Dave Howell, SOUTHBOUND BEAT MAGAZINE
"The Rattlehounds cast an irreverent nod to Keef "n" Woody...."
"Back-to-basics rock 'n' roll. Tilt your ear towards the speakers to catch the words to these cynical, bittersweet love songs."
"...The Rattlehounds roll through the amps with a 'Mats-meets-Stones shuffle."
- Metro Pulse
Check out the artist's website:
1. Christopher Walken
2. I'm The Gun
3. You Never Know In Rock and Roll
4. Chasing Ghosts
5. Would Elvis Like Me?
6. Workin' For Love