Reviewed by Harry Kaplan
It has been six years since the last Hellbound Glory release, Damaged Goods. All I can ask is, what took you so long? Well, good things come to those who wait, so it has been written. I am going to have to agree with that proverb, because everything I hear off Pinball is great. The fellas still have it after six years, good news!
Leroy Virgil has the perfect country voice and it sounds as good as it did on Damaged Goods. In some cases, even better. Virgil shows a little more of his sentimental side as Pinball includes a really great tear-jerker ballad, I will get to it in a bit. The production is also quite good on Pinball, using some bells and whistles when appropriate.
Before I get to the ballads, I want to address one of the best country covers I have EVER heard. Delta Dawn (Track 8) is better than any words I can use to make a description. It literally gave me the shivers. Truth be told, the Helen Reddy version was my favorite song when I was eight years old. I have always had a soft spot for that song and Hellbound Glory not only just the song justice, but they completely elevate the number into another galaxy.
They also do an updated version of Another Bender Might Break Me (Track 10) that cooks like a five star chef. This version kicks as much ass as their original and I think I like it just as much. This is probably one of the absolute best country songs ever made. This song has been in heavy rotation in my music for seven years and it gets me as charged up as the first time I heard it.
Now back to the ballad, Empty Bottles (Track 6). This is one of those songs can make a grown man cry. Leroy has shown his more rowdy side for a long time. He also has the chops to sing a really beautiful and insightful song like the greats. This song absolutely proves it. It is a bitter sweet song that should listened to on repeat. One listen won’t do it.
Six years is a long time to go without an album from Hellbound Glory. Thankfully, that train has reached the end of the line and now we arrive. And what an arrival it is. You need to get off and get back on because this journey is just beginning. I want to be in the front row for this one!