On its full-length debut, rip-roarin' Hot Rails plays the kind of punky, country-fried, bluesy rock that takes root so easily in the city's cloudy climate; under Cleveland's gray skies, this quintet makes its own heat. Providing hardcore beats for back-alley poetry, Charlie Druesedow guns his drums like a V8, and the roughshod chords of "Bitchin' Hour" sound like the band stole the keys to "Detroit Rock City," drove it through Medina's dirt roads, and returned it with a dented fender and straw sticking out of its grill. By this bender's end in "2 Tuff 2 Try," the blue-collar cowboys stumble into rivers and mountains, retreat to a bar, and wind up in bed. It's a hangover hard-earned.
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