The Deed Is Done

Molly Hatchet

Epic Records, 1984

REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


And then, when Molly Hatchet threw it into sixth gear, the wheels fell off the truck.

The Deed Is Done, the sixth studio effort from Danny Joe Brown and company, features the band's most polished sound, and their leat Southern Rock-sounding effort of their career. I know that long-time fans of the Jacksonville, Florida-based band will state that Molly Hatchet was really a rock band all along, and shouldn't have been pigeon-holed into the Southern Rock genre. But if this is their attempt to break free from that category, it fails poorly.

Quite possibly this disc will forever be known for the single "Satisfied Man" - a track which I do admit is a guilty pleasure for me. After all, this is what first exposed me to Molly Hatchet when I was 13 (my musical tastes were more limited than your selections at Baskin-Robbins during a heat wave back then), and even if it sounds a bit dated today, it still is able to bring a smile to my face.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

But even this track, the disc's opener, proves that there are big changes in store for Molly Hatchet. Gone is the solid guitar attack which the band had become famous for, and in was a more bass, drum and keyboard-driven backbone. Now, I am not about to fault keyboardist John Galvin for this sudden style change - had this been his first disc with the band, I might have been more inclined, but he had solidly established his presence on No Guts... No Glory - but the change is damned uncomfortable. Tracks like "Backstabber" - good grief, what were they thinking when they did this one?!? - and "She Does She Does" all suggest that not only had Molly Hatchet made a turn down a different road, but they were about to dead-end straight into a brick wall.

Things don't get much better as the album progresses. Tracks such as "Man On The Run" and "Heartbreak Radio" all leave the listener thinking that the days of wine and roses are over for Molly Hatchet. (Indeed, this proved to be their final studio effort for Epic.)

But just when you're about to totally write The Deed Is Done off, Brown and crew pull some surprises out of their collective hats. First is their take on "I Ain't Got You," which dares to hint at the return of some real boogie to Molly Hatchet's beat. "Straight Shooter" is the track which the listener is forced to wait for, but it almost makes wading through the dreck worth it. This is the kind of song which this disc should have been featuring, and is a quick return to form. If only there were more songs like this on the disc, though it does close out strongly on the instrumental "Song For The Children".

So what happened on The Deed Is Done? Part of the problem might have been the advent of MTV, and Molly Hatchet could have felt like they were playing one serious game of catch-up, since they always had been a music-based band. Part of the problem could have been the band's trying to find a new niche with Southern rock hitting a low in terms of popularity. Part of the problem could have been that the band was simply out of gas at this point. I don't know. But what I do know is that The Deed Is Done was solid proof that Molly Hatchet needed to do something to sharpen their collective axes.

Rating: D+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2004 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Epic Records, and is used for informational purposes only.