March Musical Muck Madness
Wednesday 10 March @ 13:19:49
by Tom Hallett
March Musical Muck Madness continues with some semi-pithy reviews of albums I’ve received in the mail over the past few months that I thought were so rotten I actually handled them with HAZ-MAT gloves and physically threw them in a bag for recycling. Oh, it’s not that the musicians and “artists” involved in the various projects were/are untalented at playing their instruments, or that the recordings are crappy, or even that they might make music that I personally don’t enjoy listening to. No, it’s worse than that, my friends. These CD’s are downright FOUL. Steaming, reeking, sensibilities-offending, god-forsaken SMEGMA!!
QUOTE OF THE WEEK: “I am who I am when I am it.”
SONG OF THE WEEK: “Killing Me Softly (With His Song)”
Like I said, I’d originally thrown them aside, thinking that, (A) nobody deserved to be subjected to the horrors I’d had to endure upon my first listens, and (B) if I gave the bands/acts ANY press whatsoever, it might, in fact, encourage them to continue to make recordings and therefore perpetuate my pain and suffering that much more. Alas, as I recounted last week in this space, my desk is becoming overrun by this poisonous miasma of aural ass wipe, so I’m going to break from protocol and spend a few weeks clearing this mess away so I can get back to reviewing albums I ACTUALLY LIKE. And, hopefully, that you’ll like as well. In the meantime, here’s the first of a couple of real stinkers just to get ya’ll in the mood for rude...
So Many Weapons (2003)
Oh, where to start with my little buddies in Buckra? Well, the album cover art (a sure sign an album blows, when the reviewer goes on about the artwork) is really cool, a comic book-type fantasy layout done up in a groovy, Roger-Rabbit-meets-R.-Crumb style. From there on, though, I’m afraid things get progressively worse. Lead singer/songwriter/guitar player Dylan Speeg (who’s described by one reviewer on the band’s website as a cross between Ian Astbury and Sammy Davis, Jr., but reminds me more of a cross between Buster Pointdexter and Vanilla Ice) lays down some of the STOOPIDEST lyrics and song titles I’ve ever come across.
Though the band switches up stylistically (flitting from über-indie rock jangle to faux rap/scat to positively unsettling easy listening with all the drab maundering of a lifeless grocery store shopping soundtrack) throughout the album, Speeg’s vocal delivery remains constant (rather flat, in a disheartening, “don’t-you-think-this-is-funny-too?” kinda way) and the subject matter is sub-kindergarten level. Examples: “Panties,” one of the aforementioned “indie” rockers, offers up this wonderful nugget of wisdom: “Came up short, heading for the piggy bank/Paycheck wasted money all gone/8 ball, 8 ball tell me where my money went...do your homework/Pimpin’ ain’t easy... am I too sexy...sexy, sexy, sexy me...” AHHGGHHH!!! Help me, Lord. What have I (and the rest of the free world) done to deserve this kind of torture? I’m sorry I took that fiver from my dad’s wallet when I was 6—I’ll never do anything like that again, I promise!!
Want more? Sure ya do! Try this one on for size: On top of (you guessed it!) jangly, jam-band-ish guitars, Speeg spews the following in “Bubble Gum Bandit”: “She wants the B to the U to the C to the K to the R to the A (and you’re saying no way)/She wants the D to the Y to the L to the A to the N (baby baller you can say that again).” OOOOHHHH!!! SHIT!! I GET IT!! He’s lovin’ all over himself!! Yo, it’s another self-absorbed, silly, Midwestern WIGGER!! Apparently nobody ever hipped little Dylan (talk about NOT living up to your own name) to the movie “White Boyz.” I’d love to send him a copy. Seriously, my 14-year-old son was writing more intelligent lyrics when he was in the fourth grade. I mean, I’m sure all your frat pals think this album is a real stroke of genius, Dylan, but the fact is, I’ve gleaned more wisdom reading those “Do not remove under penalty of law” tags under mattresses. Argh.
Other unremarkable slices of bland, moronic, sub-musical monkeyshines included on this album are the horrid, fake-rock blather of “Tu Tienes,” the sickly-sweet, deathly dull lounge dribble of “Doomed,” the false-alarm schlock-rock of “Smoke Signals In A Fog” (“You ain’t ugly/You’re so lovely/And those fools who make you feel chubby/Are hogs, stinkin’ dogs/Who make less sense than smoke signals in fog...”), which makes it sound like Speeg is a real SENSITIVE guy, until you come across the mucho-macho swagger of “Man First (Kiss Ass Last)” (“I’m a man first/I’m a kiss ass last...” Jesus, some of these lines are so bad, I need mouthwash after even THINKING them), and the thick, depressing downer of “One More Lesson,” which, musically, sounds like a Johnny Van Zandt reject and is also the only time Speeg’s limited pipes actually resemble Ian Astbury’s at all.
But hey, Ian’s busy right now trying to emulate Jim Morrison for the (ack) reconstituted Doors, so what the hell. When your rock heroes are releasing the most insulting, lowest- common-denominator material of their careers (although the Doors may have trouble topping their first post-Morrison effort, “The Eye Of The Sun,” for many years to come), you probably feel like your shit is top o’ the pops, man. Me, I’m just realizing how fucking accurate the title of this album really is.
With “So Many Weapons” (lousy lyrics, hackneyed vocals and riffs, diaper-filler subject matter, and an unhealthy fixation on SELF) at their disposal, it’s no wonder Buckra have managed to impress so many wanker writers in their home state of Ohio, some idiots at MTV/VH-1, and their “friends” (according to their website, anyhow), the Goo Goo Dolls. After all, those folks are all at the head of the charge in the EVIL MUSIC ARMY. Well, guess what, folks? I have a secret weapon, too. It’s called the TRASH BARREL. It’s a large, cylindrical metal container we use to BURN GARBAGE in. No, I wouldn’t even think of selling this record to a used CD store—I wouldn’t want it on my conscience if some poor, deluded kid thought the song titles or art work looked “cool” and bought it by mistake.
And I could care less if some insanely loyal, robotic fans of the band find this review on the web and write me to complain. I consider it all a part of the battle I’m fighting here against the DEATH OF ROCK AND ROLL, so slip on your Dave Matthews T-shirts an’ jam those Bare Naked Ladies baseball caps on backwards and bring it on, ya wonks! Frankly, I feel like St. George slaying the dragon when I eviscerate another smug, over-produced, FUCKAROO of a band like Buckra. Just to put it in terms that guys who make the Insane Clown Posse sound like David Byrne or Brian Eno will surely understand—hey, BUCKRA—YOU SUCKRA!! To reiterate, NOBODY deserves to ever have to hear this affront to all that’s good and decent ever again. Now, where’s my barbeque-in’ lighter?
That’s all the room we’ve got this week, gang. Tune in next time for more cranky, crabby, irate rants and rambles courtesy of some of today’s HOTTEST rising young indie stars!! Until then—make yer own damn news.
If you have local music news/gigs/CD’s you’d like to see listed in this column, or you’d just like to complain that Buckra stole your schtick, send replies to: TMygunn777@aol.com.