By Stefan Nilsson, Roppongi Rocks
American Southern hard rockers Molly Hatchet are back with a live album. With no original members left in the band, some diehard fans will hate this album, while newer fans may actually find this a decent album of live versions of old and new Molly Hatchet songs.
The original members of the band are long gone. Today’s Molly Hatchet consists of musicians who have joined the band in later stages of the band’s career. Guitarist Bobby Ingram, who joined the band in 1986, is the driving force behind the current version of the band. Personally, I don’t care much about if a current line-up of a long-lasting band has enough, or any, original members in it or not. I care about what it sounds like. Is the music good? That’s what matters. On this live album, we get a mixed bag, but overall it’s decent versions of some terrific songs. The 19 tracks on “Battleground” were recorded live during the band’s recent tours in Europe and the US. Molly Hatchet remains an active international touring act with a loyal audience. On some of the classic songs on this live album, the absence of founding guitarist Dave Hlubek, who died in 2017, is obvious, but some versions of the old classics, such as “Whiskey Man”, are very good. As is evident in some of the newer material – such as “American Pride”, “I’m Gonna Live ‘til I Die” and “Justice” – the current version of the band has the skills and opportunity to be more than just a band playing old Molly Hatchet classics. Molly Hatchet’s “Battleground” will be released via SPV/Steamhammer on 29th November as a double CD and a triple-LP with a gatefold album cover.