Sound — 7
Good old Bloodhound Gang... 5 years didn't change them -? they're still happily yelling about f--king, burping, farting, pooing with the joy only 15-year-olds have. More than that, after 10 years of singing about it, those 30-years-old dudes still find it funny. With the new album "Hefty Fine," out September 2005, they remind us how to make your mum blush. No need to say Bloodhound Gang is tongue-and-cheek kind of band -- scatological jokes, a message from someone pooing, cussing -? all included! The band just makes fun of everything they can fit their jokes to, sometimes doing ridiculous things without any logic (like that synty electronic "tail" at the end of alt-metal "Balls Out"). Thus the music, playing the second role, is very simple, not to say primitive -? dull euro-disco beats (what about rock-n?roll everybody's talking about?), guitar riffs, that don't take too much practice to play, 5-note synthesizer tunes, electronic drums, covered with lazy arrangements. Which doesn't mean songs are not catchy (you just can't not remember the phrase after you've heard it 10 times straight).
The opener alt-metal "Balls Out" is the only of its kind on the record. It features Pop's angry rapping, downtuned distortion guitars and a tambourine. "Pennsylvania" was written with the hope to become the band's home state's anthem. Well, maybe not among serious guys, but it has all the chances to be the youngsters' favorite song -? typical "teen comedy" humor plus typical American punk-rock plus "key words" that only aborigines know (like "Do you even know what a Wawa is." For those of you out of state, Wawa is a chain of shops. Now you know). Pay attention to the acoustic guitar part in the eerie-sounding ode to horror movies "Something Diabolical" -? you won't hear it on the concert. It was written on the piano and Lupus confesses it's still hard for him to play it. The lead-off single "Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo" and "No Hard Feeling" are the highlights of "Hefty Fine," that give you hope, that Bloodhound Gang still have some fresh ideas.
Lyrics — 8
Here we finally came to what the band is actually doing -? music is just the background to their sense of humor. The lyrics became meanier on this album. Jim was obviously pissed off at life and mostly girlfriends when he was working on songs -? "Ain't my job to f--k you on your birthday," "Balls out, my life is a slut." This guy doesn't cuss, that's just the way he usually expresses his feelings!
The only problem is that we've already heard most of that somewhere else and repeating the same joke gets annoying. The jokes smell stale (like "Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo" that has been used in numerous variations over the last 70 years) and the band feels that too. They excuse themselves, saying that they still find it funny and their fans do too. Probably, but much less than before.
Overall Impression — 7
You either get their joke or you don't get their music at all. There's no other way. Humor starts right from the CD sleeve with a fat guy in a box on it. As Lupus Thunder told Ultimate Guitar in the exclusive interview, the guy that posed for the sleeve, got his job after The Bloodhound Gang saw the picture, where he was giving a blow job to another guy.
If you really got into that joke, you can even unfold the CD booklet and put a little porno poster, which is on the other side, on your wall. Sad thing about the record is that it's strictly for Americas. If you live outside USA, you won't get half of the attempts "to sing a joke." Not only there are a lot of phrases that only Americans can understand, but the whole thing about "shit humor." I'm always been wondering -? how come the subject of burping, f--king, farting and so on is so topical in the States and not in any other country?
Unfortunately, the band's fans have grown up for five years since the last album was out and the band seems not. They are still riding a horse they saddled back in 1999 -? the new release is pretty much the same as their previous albums. It seems quite ok after a long break, but I don't think "the old horse" can pull another record. If the band wouldn't find inspiration from something new, their next record and the last one could be "Greatest Hits."