The back catalog of The Chuck Norris Experiment (or CNE for short) is deep. No joke, one look at it and you’ll know where their free time has gone in their 20+ years of existence. Needless to say, they’re very dedicated to the rock and are workhorses in their own right. Work ethic is a good thing, only an idiot would argue against that. These guys have that trait and its opened doors for a lot of recording opportunities with different artists and a slew of labels lately. Hotter Stuff – the second installment of a B-sides compilation series launched in 2009 – brings to light rare and unreleased recordings these guys have done from 2012-2017. A period that saw 15 releases bearing their name! Did I mention these guys are workhorses?
Don’t let the corny artwork of a branded gorilla fool you, these guys go balls out with this release. The 13 tracks here consist of B-sides accumulated from the past five years, re-imagined cover tracks and some alternate mixes and renditions from their last two LPs. Nothing’s repetitive about the content on this, it’s a good spin and shows how hard these Swedes (+ a Finn!) can bring it. The covers tracks are strong, they pull off a killer version of “Hungry Heart” by The Boss (that’s Bruce Springsteen to you and me) to start with. The guttural rendition of Turbonegro’s “I Got Erection” is a trick on the ears, as if they hired fellow countrymen, Entombed A.D., to play the track as opposed to themselves. When it comes to Alice Cooper covers, few groups tackle his latest material, so CNE distanced themselves from EVERYONE and pulled off a savage sounding punk n’ roll rendition of “Keeping Halloween Alive.” They honor Motörhead with “Rock Out” and break out a vocal tag team rendition of Misfits (“Where Eagles Dare”) with Jake Starr (formerly of Adam West and currently lead singer of The Delicious Fullness) along with organ work by Dwarves mongoloid, HeWhoCannotBeNamed. Their acoustic alter-ego, The Chuckies, make an appearance with a mellow rendition of the climatic track “Right Between The Eyes” off their 2014 album bearing the same name (fun fact: That same record charted in Sweden at #23, upon release.) Another Misfits cover (“She”) gets a gloomy melodic acoustic treatment, along with the WASP track, “Ballcrusher.”