Not only does former Woods member Terry Anderson have a knack for writing catchy rockers (remember "Battleship Chains?"), turns out he's got great taste in cohorts, namely the other "yayhoos" featured on this disc: Eric Amble, who now does guitar duty with Steve Earle (but you may also remember him from the Del-Lords or as one of Joan Jett's Blackhearts), red-headed stepchild and session bassist Keith Christopher, and former Georgia Satellite Dan Baird. Produced by Amble, Fear Not the Obvious was recorded here in North Carolina at "Carl's Barn" (aka Anderson's dad's place outside Raleigh), and the result is a hot-band-on-a-good-night session captured in all its ornery glory, using a mere eight mics. And, since all four yayhoos are crack singers and players, you're treated to harmonies a la the '70s era Glitter Twins, guitar solos that invoke everyone from the Allmans to Skynyrd, and attitude as meaty, beaty, big and bouncy as vintage Who or The Faces (check out "For Cryin' Out Loud").
Eschewing mere numerical amp settings for "Live at Leeds" volume, the boys crank through 12 soulful, chunky rockers that'd make Chris Robinson piss his 28-inch waist drawers in envy. Referential but never smug, the Yayhoos even give Old Bocephus what for on "Monkey with a Gun," an anti-tribute to gun-wielding Dixie embarrassment Hank Jr.: "Well he fell off of that mountain, and he never was the same, somewhere in Colorado, sits a chunk of Junior's brain," Then there's "Baby I Love You," an old-timey, tavern-style country ballad where Amble croons to his darling: "Baby, I love you, but leave me the fuck alone." And if that doesn't grab you, the record is worth buying just for Baird's fine-ass vocal stylings on ABBA's "Dancing Queen." Benny and Bjrn would be proud.
Fear Not the Obvious is the kind of record that makes you feel like you could chew up nails and spit tacks, drink more than the guy taking up the next bar stool and then pick up his girlfriend for the evening. And heck, isn't that what rock is all about?