In 2015 Country superstar Dierks Bentley debuted his comedy band Hot Country Knights. Comprising of Bentley as Douglas “Doug” Douglason and members of his road band, Hot Country Knights have become a staple of the singer’s live shows and it was announced a few months back that they’d signed a record deal with Capitol Records Nashville. Since then Dierks has been very committed to his role as Doug and the band has been dropping songs filled with double entendres and 90s sensibilities.
Had Hot Country Knights been releasing their debut album The K Is Silent at any other time, it may not have hit the mark, but with it arriving in the midst of a global pandemic, it somehow feels like the perfect tonic. Pick Her Up, the album’s lead single featuring legend Travis Tritt, lays out what to expect pretty perfectly. It’s the kind of song that would have rocked the airwaves in the 90s and it’s a reminder of what a pure joyful rush Country music can be.
Thankfully the rest of the tracks on this 10-song collection live up to the standard set by Pick Her Up. The album opens with the rock-tinged Hot Country Knights, which sees the band chanting as they spell out their name. Doug trades vocals with other members of the band as they sing about ‘everybody cutting loose with their jeans on tight’. It’s a hands-in-the-air, forget about your cares moment and for three minutes, you forget what a state the world is in right now.
Showing they’re no one trick ponies, the band change things up on the ballad Asphalt, which makes more puns and references to women’s backsides that you can keep track of. The reason it works, and doesn’t fall foul of the post #MeToo world, is because it’s so tongue-in-cheek, you can’t help but smile as Doug sings. The foot-stomping Moose Knuckle Shuffle (I’m not explaining a moose knuckle here – you can look that up) is a raucous party track perfect for a line-dance party and it’s very likely that more innocent Country fans won’t even understand the cheeky title.
Leaving no stone unturned, Hot Country Knights tackle a good old-fashioned country rock misery-fest on the hilarious Then It Rained, pay an ode to the popular mullet haircut on Mull It Over, and rock out on the punchy Wrangler Danger. Kings of Neon sounds like a Thin Lizzy classic and the very naughty You Make It Hard featuring Terri Clark, will leave you wondering how on earth they got her to agree to be part of the track.
The album’s final track, The USA Begins With Us, is the weakest of the songs here. It’s more of a comedy track than it is an actual song. Personally I’d have prefer one more slice of perfectly formed 90s homage cheeky Country.
The K Is Silent is oddly perfect for these strange times we’re in. What we need now more than anything is a bit of humour in our lives and this album certainly provides that. Dierks Bentley’s comic creation is a stroke of genius. Whether it can live on beyond one album remains to be seen but for the moment, I’m 100% on board with the Hot Country Knights.
Track list: 1. Hot Country Knights 2. Pick Her Up (feat. Travis Tritt) 3. Asphalt 4. Moose Knuckle Shuffle 5. Then It Rained 6. Wrangler Danger 7. Mull It Over 8. Kings of Neon 9. You Make It Hard (feat. Terri Clark) 10. The USA Begins With Us Record label: Capitol Records Nashville Release date: 1st May 2020 Buy The K Is Silent