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Blues - Released June 28, 2019 | Provogue Records

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This might seem obvious, but jam bands tend to make pretty good live albums. So when Gov’t Mule decided they’d celebrate their 25 years of existence by releasing Bring On The Music: Live at The Capitol Theatre, a 4 disc set with over 5 hours of music, we rejoiced. The performances were recorded in 2018, and they are loyal to Haynes’ multi-genre brand of music. Drawing from the best of over 300 songs, Danny Louis (keys, backing vocals), Andy Hess (bass) and Matt Abts (drums) are top-notch improvisers. But this is never at the cost of energetic performances. That’s where many jam bands fall short: they sacrifice dynamics and coherence for 10-minute pentatonic solos. Gov’t Mule isn’t one of those bands! The rhythm section is tight – synergy is the priority behind every musical choice. On Trane/Eternity’s Breath/ St Stephen, the communication between Hess and Abts is just phenomenal. They transition with ease between prog and jazz, jazz and blues. Revolution Come, Revolution Go also shows how much the quartet can groove. Their improv is always built on the steady foundations of Haynes’ writing. From that starting point, they are given free reign to play on which ever style they please. Bring On The Music: Live at The Capitol is the crowning jewel to a long and successful career. © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz
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Blues - Released June 28, 2019 | Provogue Records

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This might seem obvious, but jam bands tend to make pretty good live albums. So when Gov’t Mule decided they’d celebrate their 25 years of existence by releasing Bring On The Music: Live at The Capitol Theatre, a 4 disc set with over 5 hours of music, we rejoiced. The performances were recorded in 2018, and they are loyal to Haynes’ multi-genre brand of music. Drawing from the best of over 300 songs, Danny Louis (keys, backing vocals), Andy Hess (bass) and Matt Abts (drums) are top-notch improvisers. But this is never at the cost of energetic performances. That’s where many jam bands fall short: they sacrifice dynamics and coherence for 10-minute pentatonic solos. Gov’t Mule isn’t one of those bands! The rhythm section is tight – synergy is the priority behind every musical choice. On Trane/Eternity’s Breath/ St Stephen, the communication between Hess and Abts is just phenomenal. They transition with ease between prog and jazz, jazz and blues. Revolution Come, Revolution Go also shows how much the quartet can groove. Their improv is always built on the steady foundations of Haynes’ writing. From that starting point, they are given free reign to play on which ever style they please. Bring On The Music: Live at The Capitol is the crowning jewel to a long and successful career. © Alexis Renaudat/Qobuz
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Rock - Released June 9, 2017 | Fantasy Records

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In the four-year interim between Gov't Mule studio albums, guitar boss Warren Haynes has been busy: He played on the final Allman Brothers Band tour, paid tribute to Jerry Garcia with a symphony orchestra, issued an Americana-esque solo album, and played on James Cotton's Cotton Mouth Man. That said, no other music he makes resonates in the same way as what he creates with Gov't Mule (co-founder and drummer Mat Abts, keyboardist/guitarist Danny Louis, and bassist Jorgen Carlsson). Revolution Come...Revolution Go began on election night 2016. The band had their own ideas about the outcome, but as the night wore on, their worst fears came true and influenced the direction of the music here. The title doesn't pin the definition of "revolution" down to one topic, it's a verb, noun, adjective, and metaphor in Gov't Mule's dictionary; it describes everything from trends in music and social unrest to historical events and political and spiritual upheaval. The music here is heavy -- Mule heavy -- but also offers a host of other flavors and textures to expand the palette to dynamic effect. Opener "Stone Cold Rage" finds Haynes' mutating a James Gang vintage guitar vamp to suit Mule's purposes. Louis' swirling organ and Carlsson's distorted basslines are pushed forward by Abts' uncommonly funky breakbeats. The tune struts, swaggers, and pummels. "Drawn That Way" is a thundering blues-rocker that draws down on personal accountability. The musical change-ups here make this a standout. There's the slow, soulful "Pressure Under Fire" -- an exhortation to refute the mistakes of the past with collective tolerance and respect which contains an authority worthy of an Old Testament prophet. Likewise, the gospel-tinged R&B of "The Man I Want to Be," the Muscle Shoals-styled country of "Dreams & Songs," and the gritty, jazzy soul-funk of "Sarah, Surrender" offer different dimensions of the Southern-crusted rockist blues that is Gov't Mule's trademark. The latter tune contains Haynes' finest vocal performance on this or any other record he's been on, and he's assisted by the backing trio of Alecia Chakour, Jasmine Muhammad, and Bobby Allende. The abstract blues-jazz title track is bound to become a live staple for its suite-like structure. Guitarist Jimmie Vaughan lends a hand in adding earth to Haynes' fire on the psychedelic blues "Burning Point." The set closes with Carlsson's arrangement of Blind Willie Johnson's "Dark Was the Night Cold Was the Ground." It commences as a moaning drone, with slide guitar, piano, woozy bass, and rumbling drums, but erupts in a mind-melting, screaming Hendrixian blues overloaded with wah-wah and slide guitars for an apocalyptic finish. Revolution Come... Revolution Go is easily Gov't Mule's most urgent record, but their call to arms isn't preachy; instead, righteous anger is refracted through the lens of empathy. It is also a fresh reboot of the band's sound, offering excellent songwriting and arrangements; it sounds more like a group effort than anything they've released. The message is that the revolution is within you: Hear it, believe it, become it. ~ Thom Jurek
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Rock - Released December 5, 2014 | Provogue

Gov't Mule's show on Halloween 2008 at the Orpheum Theatre in Boston, Massachusetts has since become a legendary one among the group's many fans. The Mule's first set that night was what one might expect from this hard-rocking outfit led by guitarist Warren Haynes, and included a powerful instrumental version of the Grateful Dead's "St. Stephen," but it was the second set, the portion issued here, that placed this concert as a thing apart. Opening with Pink Floyd's "Brighter Days," the band put its spin on several Floyd classics, including "Shine on You Crazy Diamond," "Time," "Money," "Comfortably Numb," and "Wish You Were Here," among others, and while no attempt was made to faithfully imitate the Floyd versions, Haynes still skillfully echoed David Gilmour's elegant and graceful guitar style, while drummer Matt Abts turned "Have a Cigar" in a delightfully funky direction. The band finished off the second set with encore versions of "A Million Miles from Yesterday" and "Blind Man in the Dark," neither of which is included in this release. ~ Steve Leggett
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Pop/Rock - Released February 5, 1998 | Volcano

Gov't Mule's sound is a throwback to the '70s heyday of Southern rock, and their style is peppered with references to the best of the Allmans, with a liberal dose of early ZZ Top thrown in for good measure. Their second album shows no signs of a sophomore slump, featuring playing and songwriting every bit as strong as their debut outing. Warren Haynes' guitar work, if anything, is even more adventurous this time around, particularly effective on the opener "Blind Man in the Dark," "Thelonius Beck," and "Birth of the Mule." ~ Cub Koda
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Pop/Rock - Released September 14, 2004 | ATO Records

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Pop/Rock - Released February 5, 1999 | Volcano

Gov't Mule is almost single-handedly bringing back the spirit of the '60s and '70s power trios, the same kind of rock & roll magic that made Jimi Hendrix and Cream such musical icons. With this two-CD set, Gov't Mule once again breaks the rules by recording both their second release and their fourth record live in concert. But hey, that's OK for Warren Haynes, Matt Abts and Allen Woody because they are, after all, Gov't Mule. This show was recorded on New Year's Eve, 1998, at the Roxy in Atlanta, GA, and documents the band in peak form, from the power charged vocals and lead guitar of Warren Haynes, to Abts' freight train drumming and Woody's thunder driven bass. On any given night, Gov't Mule alone can rock your socks off, but on this magical evening, the band was joined by some real brothers of the road -- the Allman Brothers, the Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton; sideman Chuck Leavell was there, along with Parliament's Bernie Worrell, former Black Crowes guitarist Marc Ford, Aquarium Rescue Unit's Jimmy Herring, Randall Bramblett, newly appointed Allman Brothers' bandmember, Derek Trucks and Yonrico Scott, the drummer from the Derek Trucks Band. Talk about a stage full of talent. The set kicks off with a pair of Gov't Mule originals, "Thorazine Shuffle" and "Dolhineus," before counting down the New Year clock and launching into an unexpected but amazing rendition of Black Sabbath's "War Pigs." Next comes a guitar rocking take on Steve Marriott's "30 Days in the Hole" followed by Paul Rogers' "Mr. Big," featuring Marc Ford on guitar, followed by the blues laced "Look Over Yonder," with some ultra fine piano work from Leavell. Haynes and the boys keep up the momentum by bringing out Worrell and Trucks, in addition to Leavell, to perform the Haynes-penned Allman Brothers favorite, "Soulshine." Disc one closes with a hard rocking "Mule," featuring Worrell again on organ, and incorporating a segment of Van Morrison's "I've Been Working." Dave Mason's "Sad and Deep as You" is given the Gov't Mule treatment to begin disc two, with Leavell's and Bramblett's sax enhancing the sound just that much more, and Herring and Worrell sit in on Haynes' "Devil Likes It Slow." Next comes yet another surprise for 1999, a dramatic reading of Neil Young's "Cortez the Killer," leading up to the closing all-star jam of "Afro Blue." "Live" clocks in at about two-and-one-half hours, so there's no doubt you are getting much more bang for your buck, but it's not the quantity of the music that is important here, it's the quality, and believe you me, you won't find more quality rock & roll and blues anywhere. [Live...With a Little Help from Our Friends was also released as a limited-edition four-disc set, including video footage.] ~ Michael B. Smith
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Rock - Released June 9, 2017 | Fantasy Records

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Pop/Rock - Released February 5, 2001 | Volcano

This could very easily be the album that puts Gov't Mule over the top. They've been over the top for several years now in the eyes of their legions of fans, but commercial success has not yet been a part of their vocabulary. Sure, both guitarist Warren Haynes and bassist Allen Woody have enjoyed major success during their eight-year tenure as members of the South's most enduring group, the Allman Brothers Band, but those days are now behind them, and the power-trio, which also features the apt Matt Abts on drums, has headed into the trenches loaded down with full artillery. Hot on the heels of last summer's collector's edition re-release of Live with a Little Help from Our Friends -- which chronicled the band's unprecedented New Year's Eve 1998 performance in Atlanta, GA in a two-disc set released in March 1999, only to be reissued in its full-length, uncut four-disc glory later that year -- the Mule recorded what by all accounts seems to be their most creative and intelligent studio album to date. Produced by Michael Barbiero (Blues Traveler, Guns n' Roses), Life Before Insanity includes several songs that fans have been hearing in concert for well over a year, including the haunting title track and "Wandering Child," a powerful tune that has opened many Gov't Mule shows with its distinctive bassline, oddball time signature, and powerful dynamics. "No Need to Suffer" is another Warren Haynes-penned gem. It's been a regular on the Mule set list for a while, as has "Lay Your Burden Down," which sounds quite a bit different here than it did live. Both versions are great, but on the CD, Haynes shares vocals with the plenary Ben Harper, making this one a real treat. Other special guests on the album are former Allman Brothers bandmate Johnny Neel, who plays the keyboards with bucket loads of soul and finesse, and Hook Herrera, a master of the harmonica. Both "Tastes Like Wine" and "In My Life" (a Haynes original, not the Lennon-McCartney song) are highly effective ballads, and "Fallen Down" blends influences from early Traffic with Mule originality to create a song that is destined for radio, filled with magnetic hook lines, such as "Amazing grace is such a lonely place to heroes like you and me." Already receiving airplay, the first single from the album is "Bad Little Doggie," a rocker heavily reminiscent of early ZZ Top. All 11 of the tracks are good. Actually, there are 12 if you include the "hidden" track "If I Had Possession Over Judgement Day," a blues rocker on which Haynes sings through some sort of megaphone sounding device. ~ Michael B. Smith
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Rock - Released September 20, 2013 | Provogue Records

Gov't Mule's Shout!, their first album of new studio material in four years, marks the band's debut for Blue Note. Warren Haynes composed five of these 11 tracks; his bandmates collaborated with him on the rest. Permanent bassist Jorgen Carlsson and keyboardist Danny Louis fit seamlessly with Haynes and drummer Matt Abts, adding new grooves and sonic textures. The production ante has been upped considerably, without sacrificing GM's forceful attack. Haynes produced much of the record; his bandmates and Gordie Johnson assisted elsewhere. "No Reward" is funky blues-rock with a nasty clavinet and B-3 under greasy guitar riffs and a monstrous bassline. "Whisper in Your Soul" commences slow and moody, with syrupy, elastic keyboard lines, psychedelic guitars, and martial tom-toms that erupt into a joyous, gritty R&B refrain, then reverse. The nine-minute "Captured" will likely please old-school fans most with Haynes' extended soloing, its vamp borrowing heavily from Neil Young's "Down by the River." Carlsson's whomping bass introduces the nasty groove on "Stoop So Low." With a souled-out female gospel chorus behind Haynes, it's an album highlight. The slippery slide guitar and clavinet blues-funk in "Done Got Wise" add a new R&B dimension to GM's music. "Funny Little Tragedy" emulates -- and updates -- Elvis Costello & the Attractions' sound on This Year's Model. The 11-minute closer, "Bring on the Music," is a subtle yet sprawling blues that builds gradually, and offers some of Haynes' most melodic guitar work. Shout!'s problems are virtually all on its no-extra-charge bonus disc. It features the same tracks in different order, with the band fronted by all-star guests. While some tunes work, most do not. Dr. John's "Stoop So Low" sounds like it was written for him; Jim James' "Captured" finds him channeling his inner Jerry Garcia, shifting the track's meaning and de-emphasizing the Young vamp; Toots Hibbert's performance on "Scared to Live" adds depth to the reggae-tinged rock in the original. Ben Harper, however, tries way too hard on "World Boss"; Costello's vocal on "Funny Little Tragedy" is less interesting than Haynes' even though it was written after his influence; Grace Potter is less than convincing on "Whisper in Your Soul"; Steve Winwood sounds like he literally phoned it in on "When the World Gets Small." Dave Matthews' singing "Forsaken Savior" reveals, unfortunately perhaps, what the motivation was for including the bonus disc in the first place: to extend GM's reach toward new audiences without alienating their own. Shout! would have been better served if the best of the guest performances were integrated into the formal album. For fans, the first disc has plenty of exciting material to offer: it sounds great, the writing is excellent, there are new musical directions, and, as expected, there is terrific playing throughout. ~ Thom Jurek
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Blues - Released January 23, 2015 | Provogue

Of the many shows that Gov't Mule's faithful fans have clamored to have officially released, this is among the most deeply desired. These tapes on double disc were culled from a pair of December 1999 gigs in Georgia where the trio -- guitarist Warren Haynes, bassist Allen Woody, and drummer Matt Abts -- invited ace jazz guitarist John Scofield and keyboardist Dr. Dan Matrazzo to sit in. They were originally intended for release as a live album, but due to Woody's premature death a couple of months later, they were shelved. These shows mark the very first on-stage meetings between Scofield and Haynes, who've played together many times since. Scofield's "Hottentot" opens it all on a groove-laden tip. Abts lays down that taut snare and hi-hat with cracking breaks as the two guitarists state the theme in unison. It unfolds in relaxed fashion and the frontmen really talk to each other over and through the vamp. And though it gets things cooking, it doesn't prepare the listener for the first of two versions of Wayne Shorter's "Tom Thumb," set into motion with a breezy Latin groove. It's a tad faster and looser than the composer's, but far from sloppy. Despite the stellar melodic interplay by the guitarists, this piece is a stunning showcase for Woody's bass playing. His sense of time, elastic swing, and feel was singular among rock musicians who came after Jack Bruce. Sco's solo is full of striking arpeggios while Haynes' is bluesier, edgier. Both set up wonderful chord voicings for one another throughout. Jam fans will flip for the covers of James Brown's "Doing It to Death" (which begins with a short free-form intro) on the first disc and "Pass the Peas," which opens the second. They both bring the funk hot and heavy. Roiling and ratcheting the intensity, the rhythm section really shines on both tunes and Matrazzo's organ and piano solos on the former are his best here. Haynes' title track is a vehicle for the band to dig into its love for greasy yet progressive soul-jazz. Another Woody highlight (though the guitarists are mind-melting together and separately) is the Haynes-Dickey Betts tune "Kind of Bird," a knotty showcase for the inspiration of hard bop in the development of both men and Sco. The latter swings like mad, but Haynes is easily as fluid. Both swagger and strut, adding healthy doses of blues to the syncopated rhythms. The closer is a staggering 23-minute reading of Mongo Santamaria's "Afro Blue" that weaves elements of Betts' "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed" and searing psychedelia into its labyrinthine mix. (Mike Barnes guests as a third guitarist on the track.) Sco-Mule is high-flying musical collaboration at its very best. Inspired, in the cut, wildly creative, and sprawling, this is the evidence that these cats brought everything to the stage in these shows. ~ Thom Jurek
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Rock - Released April 3, 2015 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released October 23, 2009 | Provogue

By a Thread is Gov't Mule's first studio album since High & Mighty was issued in 2006. Since that time, bassist Andy Hess has been replaced by Jorgen Carlsson, though Hess appears on two tracks at the end of the album. Ensconced at Willie Nelson's Pedernales Studio outside of Austin, the band recorded from the ground up and wrote everything in the studio. It's right; it's big and fat and nasty. Carlsson's playing style is much more aggressive than Hess', and is therefore closer -- in spirit anyway -- to Gov't Mule's original bassist, the late Allen Woody, though he possesses an adventurous sense of time and is harmonically more colorful than either Woody or Hess. Carlsson and drummer Matt Abts are a solid match, since Abts is a drummer used to shifting time signatures and allowing the unexpected in while still driving a band. The band's keyboardist and rhythm guitarist, Danny Louis, is a shape-shifter, playing to whatever is needed in a given track. His manner of coloring sounds inside and around a particular tune's framework is a large part of what makes Gov't Mule's sound so fresh here -- despite the fact that they don't stray far from what they do best. Warren Haynes and his guitar are, as usual, front and center, his guitar screaming, his big throaty growl hammering down lyrics like a Southern fire-and-brimstone preacher with earthshaking soul. The material on this set is tight; there is less jamming but Gordie Johnson's production and mixing equalize everything at ten, making it feel like the disc is recorded live. The set opens with the pulsing bass THROB of "Broke Down on the Brazos," just before Haynes and guest guitarist Billy Gibbons enter and let the tough, riff-laden blues snarl get in and slash it up a bit. The roar is wondrously deafening and the pace is fierce. Likewise, the slightly more tuneful "Steppin' Lightly" does anything but. With its funky big rock trio riff, it kicks up dust with Haynes playing some killer funk-laden fills as Carlsson and Abts syncopate and pop through both hard rock and reggae backbeats. The hook on the choruses is a nice surprise, but it's anything BUT a pop song. Other notables include the Delta blues-flavored "Railroad Boy," which opens up into full-on stun, with staccato riffing that recalls Led Zeppelin at their very best. The Hendrix-ian "Any Open Window" is dedicated to the memories of Mitch Mitchell and Buddy Miles, and the tune's structures recall them both -- different as they were. The interaction in the rhythm section here is simply stunning. "Frozen Fear" is a country-rock midtempo ballad with a reggae backbeat and showcases Louis on Hammond B-3. The album's longest cut, "Inside Outside Woman Blues #3," also recalls the big wide-open blues and wah-wah jamming style of Jimi Hendrix. Haynes opens with a savage solo, and moves into the big, slow, metallic blues that Gov't Mule do better than anybody at present. But check the bassline; its nastiness is so powerful it rivals Haynes' guitar for the front line even if it's only keeping time. Ultimately, By a Thread was well worth the wait. Though Gov't Mule have always tried to push the envelope on their studio records, this time out they give fans enough of the tried and true while gelling in an entirely new way. If ever there were a time to check this band out for the first time, or catch up, this is the album. ~ Thom Jurek
CD£8.99

Rock - Released November 21, 2006 | ATO Records

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Rock - Released November 21, 2006 | ATO Records

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Blues - Released October 12, 2012 | Provogue Records

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Blues - Released August 16, 2010 | Provogue

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Rock - Released October 26, 2009 | Evil Teen Records

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Rock - Released August 5, 2016 | Provogue

The worst thing one can say about Gov't Mule's Tel-Star Sessions is that you already know what the album sounds like; that's also the very best thing. No matter how many musical paths guitarist Warren Haynes and drummer Matt Abts have traveled since the death of bassist Allen Woody in 2000, these 1994 demo recordings with engineer Bud Snyder at Bradenton, Florida's Tel-Star Studios represent what they single-handedly pulled off in grand style from the very beginning: Reinvigorating the classic blues-rock power trio à la Cream, Mountain, Hot Tuna, ZZ Top, and Taste. Since joining the Allman Brothers Band in 1989, Woody and Haynes had lamented the dearth of the trio form's rawness, creative energy, and a lack of the "rock bass sound" in modern music. Haynes had worked with drummer Abts in Dickey Betts' band through 1988, and they recruited him. Gov't Mule was originally a "project" with no clear goal other than that of exploration. They learned how to interact through covers and originals, and worked up a repertoire to play live. Seven of these demos -- including covers of Free's "Mr. Big" and Memphis Slim's "Mother Earth" -- were re-recorded for the band's self-titled debut. "Blind Man in the Dark" appeared on Dose. Two more covers -- ZZ Top's "Just Got Paid" and Willie Dixon's "The Same Thing" -- are unique to this release. Assembled, they showcase a band not only finding its way, but imagining the possible. This set is also a stunning tribute to Woody's genius. When considering the blues-rock bass, one has to consider the innovations made by Jack Bruce. Woody was certainly influenced by him (especially when it came to using jazz), but his phrasing, timing, and groove were his own. He melded melody and rhythm, jazz, blues, rock, and funk in a manner that made his instrument as much a solo vehicle as Hayne's guitar playing. Check the way he stitches them all together on the Dixon tune, adding a nasty funkiness emulated by players ever since. The improvisational balance in the knotty riff on "Left Coast Groovies" pushes Haynes' solo break to find a terrain not already covered by his monstrous, melodic bassline. The turnarounds on Memphis Slim's "Mother Earth" are so massive, filthy, and rock-solid that Abts gets room to syncopate -- on a 12-bar blues! -- while Haynes discovers layers of lyrical depth under the original tune. As a band, this trio could fill every inch of space and not overplay. Check the way psych, rock, and blues entwine on "Blind Man in the Dark," and -- in both versions -- "World of Difference"'s harmony and rhythm are imbued with expansive Southern soul and fluid Hendrix-ian psychedelia. Despite the fact that only two of these tunes are "new," The Tel-Star Sessions are among Gov't Mule's most essential recorded documents. The power and musicality on display here rival anything they've released. ~ Thom Jurek
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Rock - Released August 3, 2010 | Evil Teen Records