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Bloodhound Gang in-the-news

Bloodhound Gang, One Fierce Beer Coaster (Republic/Geffen)

February 3, 1997Scott Slonaker
Consumable Online

Feeling stuck in an adolescent male rut? Have a serious fixation with body orifices? Bad skin? Do you enjoy ridiculing others, especially through the use of stereotypes? Then, dear reader, meet your spiritual kin, the Bloodhound Gang.

Formed in 1994 in Philadelphia, the Bloodhound Gang spent their 1995 major-label debut, Use Your Fingers, attempting to do the white-boy rap thing, with apparently little success. Original founding members Jimmy Pop Ali (vocals, samples) and Lupus (guitar) assembled a new band with real instruments, found a new label, and had at it. Somewhat of a They Might Be Giants for the Beavis and Butt-head set (or maybe an R-rated Presidents of the U.S.A.), the band's style veers wildly, and surprisingly seamlessly, from distant Type O Negative-crunch to punk-pop to, yes, white-boy rap.

It might be best at this point to lay the truth out on the table. The Bloodhound Gang want to offend you. They want badly to offend you. Sure, they want you laughing at the utterly uproarious lyrics (which you will), but there is a conscious effort here to make parents and politicians mad. Almost no social archetype escapes, least of all the band itself. Jimmy Pop has just as much contempt for himself and his own abilities as he does anyone else. This makes it easy to realize that the band is just kidding. The whole affair is obviously tongue-in-cheek. See, for all their would-be honkiness, the Bloodhound Gang are much smarter than they act (separating them from Ween).

Now, disclaimers aside, One Fierce Beer Coaster is no musical work of art. To be musically intricate would be missing the whole point. So, while hearing the virtual plagiarism of Cypress Hill on "Why's Everybody Always Pickin' On Me?" would normally raise a major red flag, it passes by effortlessly. Other songs borrow heavily from NOFX ("I Wish I Was Queer so I Could Get Chicks"), House of Pain ("Lift Your Head Up High (And Blow Your Brains Out)"), Onyx ("Asleep at the Wheel"), and early Beastie Boys (most of the rest). But, the band sounds *good* stealing from other people, in the same way that all the best "Weird Al" Yankovic songs are the parodies of popular songs. Ironically, the one major misstep on the entire record is a thrashy, distorted cover of Run DMC's classic "It's Tricky". And lest we forget, the country twang, chunky thrash, and unprintable chorus of the hit single "Fire Water Burn" is truly memorable ("I'm not black like Barry White/No, I am white like Frank Black is.")

Boatloads of hilarious samples, snippets, and other touches kept me in stitches, from a cameo by Vanilla Ice on "Boom" to the Homer Simpson soundalike on the final track, "Reflections of Remoh" (good thing the lyrics are printed on the inlay card). For those iron minds not easily cowed by vicious (if ultimately innocuous) stereotypes, toilet humor and George Carlin's seven famous Bad Words, One Fierce Beer Coaster provides a truckload of good, old-fashioned political incorrectness and hilarity. And amazingly enough, the record is somehow able to keep up the pace for the whole distance without (overly) repeating itself. Howard Stern and the Beastie Boys would be proud. Always thought that Webster looked a little devilish.