[Warning: This album contains a lot of strong, crude language. There are many sexual themes and references in every song. This review is an uncensored look at it. Children, anyone who is faint at heart or is easily offended should not read this review nor listen to this album. You’ve been warned, so you can’t complain!]
There are great albums. There are bad albums. Then there are albums where you don’t know what the hell you just heard. Wheeler Walker Jr.’s debut album would fall into the latter category. Walker seemingly has appeared out of thin air, although he’ll tell you he’s been around for years now and no major label would have the guts to record the album he wants to record. Well as luck would have it he would catch the eye of Sturgill Simpson, a fellow Kentuckian, who introduced him to Dave Cobb and the rest they say is history. Walker teamed up with Cobb under the Thirty Tigers label to make his debut album Redneck Shit. Never before in my time in running this blog have I heard such a vile and weird album. Yet at the same time I was blown away and impressed. And I had a few laughs along the way too while listening to it.
This raunchy album kicks off with its title track and basically serves as the appetizer to prepare you for the main course of the album. Walker sings about how much he enjoys the most stereotypical redneck shit from drinking Mountain Dew to having sex with his cousin. The instrumentation on this song is pretty damn catchy and country, something I can say about this whole album. Up next is “Beer, Weed, Cooches,” a song where Walker sings about what some of the things he loves most. Among them of course are beer, weed and cooches along with honkytonk music and getting his dick sucked. The steel guitar perfectly goes along with the lyrics and will undoubtedly have you tapping your feet along with it. “Family Tree” is the most disgusting and crude song you’ll hear on Redneck Shit (at least in my opinion). The song is about a woman wanting to break up with her man, but the man admits he only got close to her for one reason: to fuck everyone in her family. The lyrics to this song are absolutely absurd and disgusting, yet you can’t help but laugh. It’s so damn hilarious and yet so wrong. You have to hear this one for yourself.
Despite the ridiculous humorous nature of the songs on this album, there are actually some honest-to-god great country songs on here and one of them is definitely “Can’t Fuck You Off My Mind.” From the instrumentation to the theme, this is really not much different from the stuff you heard in the outlaw era of country music. It’s your classic heartbreak ballad, only with a lot of profanity. The premise of the song is quite simple: the man is fucking every woman in town to try to forget about his ex. If you think about it, this is a more mature approach to a breakup than a lot of mainstream country music. The album’s lead single, “Fuck You Bitch,” follows this. Some people will be offended just by reading the title, but this would be shortsighted. Once again Walker tackles heartbreak, just in a crude and very blunt manner. The story goes the woman has left the man and now he’s left sad and pissed off. And like anyone just after a breakup there’s a lot of anger. So he tells her to not only fuck off, but her friends too, as he felt they tore them apart. Lastly he hopes her dog, which got lost, never comes home either. This is all scathing and pretty damn funny. The production is once again top-notch, a credit to wizard Dave Cobb, who just can’t seem to do wrong.
The shortest and most lighthearted song on the album is “Drop ‘Em Out.” It’s a pretty simple song where Walker sings about boobs, specifically wanting the woman he’s talking to drop them out so he can look at them and pleasure himself. It’s pretty on-the-nose humor with some wacky rhyming that I just can’t but laugh at. As Walker said in an interview with Rolling Stone, it sounds just like an Oak Ridge Boys song. The gritty, guitar-driven “Eatin’ Pussy/Kickin’ Ass” is the album’s rally-crying anthem. If you had to point to the heart of this album, this is it. I don’t think I have to explain what this one’s about, although I will say towards the end of the song Walker takes an unexpected turn you need to hear yourself. Also one of the members of the backing band lets it be known he doesn’t want his name on this song, prompting a reaction from Walker that gave me a pretty good laugh. The self-explanatory “Fightin’, Fuckin’, Fartin’” keeps up the album’s crude bravado, although by this point the humor can start to wear a little thin. It isn’t a bad song, but one of the more forgettable ones on the album.
Another highlight of this album is “Better Off Beatin’ Off.” Walker once again demonstrates he has a surprising knack at pulling off funny, yet sad heartbreak songs. The story of the song goes the man is now swearing off women because they cause him too much heartbreak. So he comes to the realization that’s he better off alone with just himself and his hand. I think doubt begins to creep in his mind eventually though because he’s crying during it at one point, which paints a surprisingly funny image in your head. “Sit On My Face” sees Walker at his most generous on the entire album. Walker finds himself desperate as the bar begins to close and realizes he can’t be picky, so he invites a random woman back to his place to ride his face while he pleasures her. The amount of glee Walker expresses as he sings this song is both amusing and so fitting of this character. The most rocking song of the album closes out Redneck Shit, “Which One O’ You Queers Gonna Suck My Dick?”. This semen and alcohol covered album of course has to end with not only more of this, but try to take the premises even further. Now Walker is at a gay bar and looking for a guy willing to suck his dick. Eventually Walker finds his guy and accomplishes his goal, which we audibly get to hear, making it the appropriate way to finish this album.
Redneck Shit is the foulest and nastiest country album I’ve ever heard. And it’s absolutely great. Walker set out to make a quality country album and to piss off everyone in the process. To him I say mission accomplished. I will say though despite the disgusting nature of this album and how much it pushes the envelope, I still feel like he could have pushed it even further. I hope on the next album he goes even further. The instrumentation and production on this album though is top-notch and couldn’t be more country. It’s the anti-thesis to country radio. Waylon and Willie would be pretty damn proud. Not to mention there’s a lot of laughs to be had in every song. If you’re looking for an artist with a “fuck you” attitude who isn’t afraid to get weird and make traditional country music all at the same time, you need to listen to Wheeler Walker Jr. Move over Earl Dibbles Jr. The more talented and funny Wheeler Walker Jr. is here with Redneck Shit.
(Note: If you aren’t aware, Wheeler Walker Jr. is a character played by comedian Ben Hoffman and is not an actual person, although at times it may seem like it. These aren’t his real views and the songs aim to be satire/humor. I treated him like a real artist in the review both because it’s fun and he’s more real than most major label country artists, despite being a character. )