Record Review 

A grinding, hardcore rock opera about a boy who trades his soul to the devil in exchange for an illustrious stage career sounds like a lot to swallow. But in the tradition of the Who's Tommy and Pink Floyd's The Wall, Bloomington, Ind., crusties Racebannon employ a modern take on conceptual rock storytelling with Satan's Kickin' Your Dick In: "The Story of Rhonda Delight".

Though the ambitious sophomore outing requires a close read of both the soundtrack and the accompanying liner notes to be fully understood, and much like its predecessors, Satan's Kickin' is a bit vague; herein lies its appeal. Rock operas have always affected audiences on a deeply personal level: Viewers see loose connections come together in the narrative and draw parallels that relate to events in their own lives.

Racebannon's Faustian tale begins with Rodney Mitchell, a young performer who wants nothing more than to show the world his soul on stage, but alas, no one cares. Distraught, Rodney makes an impulsive deal with the devil and in the process is unwittingly transformed into a world-renowned diva known as Rhonda Delight.

The band's vocalist, Michael Anderson penned Satan's Kickin', which explodes into a gurgling splatter of fire and brimstone that unleashes one of the grimiest visions of hell ever channeled through a guitar. But the most horrific part of the story is that to be truly happy, Rodney has to become something he's not, and that's a nightmare to which anyone can relate.


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