Bloodhound Gang in-the-news

Fat Amy finally has the CD it needs; Bloodhound Gang's a tasteless waste

January 29, 1997Josh Newman
The Grand Rapids Press

Fat Amy Five-way switch

East Lansing's Fat Amy has been playing the West Michigan music scene for a few years now, but collectively, its members have never had the product to help propel them to the next level. With the group's second release, though, entitled "Five-Way Switch," the band has the product that should help.

Released on the band's own Fatfelt Music (in a publishing deal with MCA Records), this six-song release is chock-full of good old-fashioned, guitar-driven pop hits just waiting to happen. Singer Bobby Guiney's voice and the dual ax work of Kirk Reedy and Mark Meyers act as the driving forces behind Fat Amy's sound - one would have fit well into the pop-rock scene of the late '80s, but has found a true home here in the '90s. The band's music is straightforward and honest, which creates a feel-good vibe both on stage and on tape. With the exception of "Break The Eaze" - a song that was recorded at Station C studios here in Grand Rapids with producer Tom Jansen - "Five-Way Switch" was engineered and produced by Tim Patalan (Sponge, 19 Wheels). The album features three new songs, and three songs that have either been re-recorded or re-mixed, including "Break The Eaze," "Purple" and "Chili Red." "Five-Way Switch" and the band's relentless touring habits should be attractive to any major label.

*** 1/2 - Josh Newman

Bloodhound Gang One Fierce Beer Coaster If music-business types are fretting over this past year's low record sales, then maybe they should take a hard look at bands like Bloodhound Gang. Because with the release of the quintet's Geffen records debut, entitled "One Fierce Beer Coaster," this band establishes itself as the epitome of what is wrong with the industry these days. Despite AOR success of the group's annoying first single, "Fire Water Burn" - a rip-off of that old dance club classic "The Roof is on Fire" - this band's career is likely going to be short-lived. From the monotone, rap-like lyrics to the punk/metal guitar riffs and the weak sampling and scratching on the part of the DJ, everything on "One Fierce Beer Coaster" has been done before ... and better. With song titles like "Lift Your Head Up (And Blow Your Brains Out)," it's obvious that Bloodhound Gang isn't taking itself too seriously. You shouldn't either. If you're looking for a fun new album, pick up Cake or Sublime - but think hard before you drop any cash on this one.

half-a-* - Josh Newman

Rusted Root Remember Rusted Root has failed once again to put out the definitive Rusted Root album. But that doesn't mean that "Remember," on Mercury Records, isn't a good release. Most of the songs, including the first single, "Sister Contine," along with "Faith I Do Believe," are nicely done by the Pittsburgh sextet. You'll want to sing right along with vocalists Michael Glabicki and Liz Berlin. And to "Virtual Reality" and "Baby Will Boom," you'll be dancing, too. Unfortunately, a few of the album's 14 songs aren't so good. All told, though, this is a another good effort by Rusted Root, but maybe not the great one that critical fans may be expecting by now.

*** - Josh Newman