Yayhoos Put the Hammer Down

Take three seasoned, trouble-making singer-songwriters who play hard because they love to. Throw in another grizzled survivor to handle bass duties, add beer and shake. You’ll get the second release by the Yayhoos — a twisted amalgam of veterans from such bad-boy bands as the Del-Lords (Eric Ambel), Georgia Satellites (Dan Baird), Woods (Terry Anderson) and Billy Joe Shaver (Keith Christopher). Each checks his ego at the door, cracks open a few dozen beers in Roscoe’s home studio and shoots for the moon. Put the Hammer Down, indeed! These tunes alternately rock, roll and wrestle with all manner of influence — a drunken collision between the Stones and the Faces — each song driven by diverse singing strengths as each distinctive vocalist takes his turn. "Everything/Anything” serves as the band’s modus operandi — a partying, going-nowhere-special track that serves as a fun introduction to each player, powered by one of the best drum beats in recent history. Elsewhere, solid rockers rule with the sassy "Where’s Your Boyfriend At?,” the semi-autobiographical "Getting’ Drunk” and Baird’s rough’n’tumble "Would It Kill You?” Ambel turns in the smoothest sounds with the considerably more genteel "Between You and Me,” loaded with pop smarts, together with a Rundgren-esque "Hurtin’ Thing.” Yet it is Anderson’s vocals that shine brightest with a unique Jerry Garcia-meets-Ronnie Lane slant that transform both ”All Dressed Up” and "Over The Top” into roots rock masterpieces. The perfect party platter for people who play hard and can take a little hurtin’ come sunrise. (Lakeside Lounge)