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Bloodhound Gang in-the-news

Bloodhound Gang: Two-hit wonders

June 22, 2000Rob Sheffield
Rolling Stone

THE BLOODHOUND GANG'S "The Bad Touch" is a rare breed of novelty single the words aren't too funny, but the music is a scream. The primitive Eurotrash disco synths plow through all the posh cliches that GIORGIO MORODER gave the world on the American Gigolo soundtrack, stealing musical punch lines from countless synthpop dreams of long ago and Ear away: DEPECHE MODE's "Enjoy the Silence," NEW ORDER's "True Faith," the CURE's "Let's Go to Bed," maybe even ORCHESTRAL MANOEUVRES IN THE DARK's "Telegraph." It's a parody that shimmers like the real thing, which perhaps explains why it's a huge hit in Europe, the always-- good-for-a-laugh continent where EIFFEL 65, AQUA and the VENGABOYS are album artists. The whole shiny sound of "The Bad Touch" makes me giggle so merrily that it took me a few listens to notice the lyrics; fortunately, it took me only one listen to go back to ignoring the lyrics and wallowing in the froufrou beauty of the music.

"The Bad Touch" even inspired me to actually put on the Bloodhound Gang's album, and while that won't happen again, I'm happy to report that I almost made it to track six. The album credits are understandably coy about who came up with the track for "The Bad Touch," and so I hope it's not out of line to assume that nobody in the Bloodhound Gang had anything to do with it. They've been making college-boy novelty records for years, scoring the minor 1996 hit "Fire Water Burn," but the timeliest pop-culture references they can manage are SISKEL and EBERT, The X-Files, PRINCE, LYLE LOVETT - impressed yet? Truth be told, most of their jokes were gathering dust in the MAD magazine archives before these guys were born, and they can't rock their way out of a wet paper napkin. But in case you didn't learn from "I Want It That Way," great music can happen to sucky groups.

Head honcho JIMMY POP is funnier in interviews because he has less time to think. On record, he rambles through a script of predictable racist and sexist outrages that make him sound like an older, slower Morton Downey Jr. Whether or not you think his offensiveness is a deal breaker, you have to admit that his gutless sanctimony in defending his meek Archie Bunker humor proves he doesn't have the courage of his asshole convictions. Clearly, he's just auditioning for a morning-zoo radio gig in Wichita Falls - not Cincinnati, because MOJO NIXON got there first.

God doesn't like it when novelty acts try to milk the hit into a career. It's a gas to spin through the new Dr. Demento's Thirtieth Anniversary Collection: Dementia zooo! on Rhino, with old comic favorites like JIMMY CROSS' "I Want My Baby Back," new-tome novelties like OZZY FUDD's "Kill the Wabbit" and TRAVESTY, LTD.'s "Rock and Roll Doctor," which my sisters and I can still recite all the way through. But hardly any of these jokers have a second gag in them. The Bloodhound Gang aren't up to the job: They can't write jokes, they can't write songs, and their comic timing is even clunkier than their drummer. But for the three or four minutes of "The Bad Touch," the music has its way with them.