Review Summary: The best Hellyeah album by far, but that's really not saying much...
Third time's the charm I guess.
To be clear, I'm not saying that Band of Brothers is a good album, not by a long shot. But, in the context of Hellyeah's career, Band of Brother is the first time they struck any part of the target. Hellyeah the album was their first shot, but they just ended up hitting the tree next to the target. Stampede was the second go-around, but Chad Grey, Vinnie Paul, Greg Tribbett, Tom Maxwell and Bob Zilla missed the mark so badly that they almost killed somebody. Indeed, on Band of Brothers, Hellyeah haven't delivered the killshot that we keep waiting for them to do, but at least they've hit the target, even if just barely.
Band of Brothers is by the most serious album of Hellyeah's career. There's only one song dedicated to enjoyment of alcohol (Drink Drank Drunk) but at this point it almost feels like they're contractually obligated by their label to deliver at one party song per album. Band of Brothers is the heaviest Hellyeah record, that's for sure.
"War In Me" is an energetic album opener that blows the doors off anything Hellyeah did on Stampede. Vinnie Paul sounds both alive and sober behind the drumkit for the first time in forever, and while the main riff is pretty simple, it at least sounds like the law firm of Tribbett and Maxwell give a *** this time around. Chad Grey spends the song telling his rival to "*** off", but at this point Chad Grey is who he is, and there's no changing that. "Band of Brothers" is an anthem if there ever was one: it's message of unity will surely go down at Hellyeah concerts. I'm kind of pissed that they named this song and album after one of the greatest miniseries of all time (seriously, Netflix it), but it's forgivable enough.
Band of Brothers the album is very much focused on groove. Vinnie Paul is the MVP of this album because he put in some effort for once. His drum sound carries this album, from the crazy-eyed "War In Me" to the rhythm on "Call It Like I See It" and the swing of "What It Takes To Be Me". "What It Takes To Be Me" rips off the intro and chorus to "Band of Brothers" though. Tribbett and Maxwell throw in guitar solos this time around, and it livens up the atmosphere. Bob Zilla's bass is audible, but you're not gonna notice him over everything else.
Chad Grey's vocals are more venomous in terms of tone, but his lyrics are still meh. He's not constantly extolling the futures of substance abuse anymore besides "Drink Drank Drunk", but on the sex jam "Why Does It Always" he comes across as a creepy stalker who enjoys screaming at his victim. His lyrics are decent at times, and repulsively hilarious at other moments. Listen to the chorus of "What It Takes To Be Me" without laughing, I dare you.
In the end, Hellyeah is pretty much who they are: a relatively average groove-metal band who just happens to have some men in their lineup who (used) to be talented. It all still sounds like they're in it for the money and free booty, but they seem to be taking it more seriously. I don't feel endless shame for listening to "Band of Brothers", unlike Stampede, and that is an accomplishment in itself.
In conclusion, Hellyeah is still stupid, they're just not retarded anymore.