Music News


Former Pantera pounder Vinnie Paul hasn't made much noise of late, and for good reason: His brother and bandmate, Dimebag Darrell Abbott, was murdered on stage in late 2004. Hellyeah marks Paul's return, and his stick work is as fierce as ever. If only this would-be supergroup were as consistently bad-ass as he is.

The main problem is miscasting. The disc aspires to the Texas-flavored post-thrash Pantera perfected, but lead singer Chad Grey, one of two Mudvayne vets in the quintet (along with guitarist Greg Tribbett), is no cowboy from hell, and the strain of pretending bleeds through. His pose is exposed on "You Wouldn't Know," an overly polished single; "Alcohaulin' Ass," a bogus booze-a-long; and "Thank You," a too-polite Dimebag tribute that suggests a metallic gloss on the Golden Girls theme.

Fortunately, Grey passes muster on several other salvos -- among them the aggressively mindless "Hellyeah," during which Paul sounds like he's playing a pile driver. He may have been away for a while, but he still knows the drill.

KEEP WESTWORD FREE... Since we started Westword, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Denver, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Michael Roberts has written for Westword since October 1990, serving stints as music editor and media columnist. He currently covers everything from breaking news and politics to sports and stories that defy categorization.
Contact: Michael Roberts