Review Summary: Well I aint seen my baby since the night before when, I've been drinking bourbon whiskey, scotch and gin.
Sometimes music just snarls at you. There are moments when an electric guitar is played with the right tone and attitude that the (probably) simplistic riff blasting out of its amp grabs you by the throat, only releasing its grasp to forcefully shotgun a beer down your gullet. As your cells gleefully release any sort of restraint and succumb to the sweet embrace of alcohol, it’s really that riff that makes it go down smoothly. Anyone who has seen AC/DC in concert can appreciate this sensation. Although many have tried to ape AC/DC note for note, the American band that most successfully mirrors them doesn’t even try to replicate their sound. George Thorogood and the Destroyers are the American AC/DC not because you will ever hear them in the same sentence until now, it’s because they embody the same attitude, have a penchant for replicating their own work exhaustively, are comfortable with their songs being only being anthems in bars and movies with seedy characters, and mostly because they do exactly what they want and could not give 18 f*cks what anybody has to say about it. In short, like AC/DC, George Thorogood is rock personified.
Thorogood is neither a musical genius or even remotely close to original. About 98% of his songs sound exactly alike, and the only ones that don’t are the legions of covers aped from Blues legends that ironically he is most famous for. “Bad To The Bone” is probably his most original song, and even though it is inarguably one of the ten most badass songs of all time, anybody with two arms and 10% brain function can play its opening riff. Thorogood didn’t write the penultimate drinking anthem “One Bourbon, One Scotch, One Beer,” nor did he pen the drenched in Michelob and oil while standing alone in the desert riff that cascades on “Who Do You Love"” but almost everybody knows those songs as his, and couldn’t give a sh*t less that dudes like John Lee Hooker and Bo Diddley are actually responsible. Hank Sr. might have come up with “Move It On Over,” but his version in comparison to Thorogood’s sounds like a paraplegic calf about to be devoured by a rabid Tyrannosaurus.
The long version is Thorogood is good at covering blues and old country songs and adding his own spin. The short version is he makes them about 800% better, due only in part to that attitude, that signature snarl that sounds like it was recorded in a desert, remixed in a bar, and forcefully slammed down your throat by that previously mentioned beer. Thorogood’s originals follow the same pattern, with the only difference that about 86% of them are about alcohol. “I Drink Alone” manages to pay tribute to Budweiser, Jack, Jim, Johnny Walker, and Old Granddad Whiskey in one deliciously alcoholic jam, and “If You Don’t Start Drinkin’ (I’m Gonna Leave) is the anthem for every reprehensible soak shamefully thwarted by that nagging b*tch we all know (and hate). The other 14% are about women, and how George most certainly doesn’t need them getting in his damn way. When it comes to bar rock, nothing could be more appropriate.