Welcome to the latest edition of ‘Golden Vault’, where we delve into the annals of music to bring you a classic album. You’ll know some like the back of your hand and nothing of others. We hope to get you reacquainted with old friends and create new favourites. The album to be taken out of the Golden Vault for reappraisal this week is ‘One Fierce Beercoaster’ by Bloodhound Gang.
“The Bloodhound Gang record’s called ‘One Fierce Beercoaster’…and on the front of the record there’s a picture of a beercoaster! So the record looks like a beercoaster! That’s some funny fuckin’ shit motherfucker. That shit’s whack. That shit’s funny. That shit’s funny and whack.”
– Homer Simpson
You said it, Homer J. That Homeric paean may indeed be true, but the real fun, and the true whackness of this album, is all about the wonder of discovering what combination of words Jimmy Pop is going to rhyme next; “mother’s lingerie” with “songs of Broadway” – yes! “Schnozz” with “The Cos” (as in Bill) – more! “Spam from the can” with “old school Duran Duran” – bravo! “Sebaceously form” with “amateur gay porn” – fuckin’ hell! Oh, he’d make your granny blush would Jimmy Pop, then he’d probably try it on with her. That’s just the kind of thing you’re trained to expect with this record. All this came three years before The Bad Touch from 1999’s ‘Hooray For Boobies’ propelled them into the mainstream (albeit briefly). That was a tame ditty in comparison to some of the nefarious shenanigans detailed on ‘One Fierce Beercoaster’ – public defecation, cunnilingus, poo-poo platters, profane Homer – but then Jimmy Pop’s “more tongue-in-cheek than a lesbo orgy”
What do you mean, “Who’s Jimmy Pop?” Jimmy Pop Ali of course, lyricist, existentialist and longest serving member of those masters of politically-incorrect humour and innuendo, Bloodhound Gang. We could have spent this entire thing quoting different lyrics from ‘One Fierce Beercoaster’ to illustrate their genius; nobody’s safe here – the disabled, the deaf, the ugly, your girlfriend, her boyfriend, amputees (Jimmy Pop sings like one you see, “Can’t hold a note, can’t carry a tune”) The album’s roll call of heroes and victims is as impressive as it is varied – Judas Priest, Depeche Mode, Marvin Gaye, Bon Jovi, Rock Master Scott & The Dynamic Three, Def Leppard, Pixies, Barry White ( “I’m not black like Barry White no I am white like Frank Black is”), Run DMC, Jimmy Dean (of sausage – not Hollywood – fame); on and on it goes.
On I Wish I Was Queer So I Could Get Chicks, Jimmy Pop postulates that if he were gay, he could attract more female attention than his hetero self presently can…until the song’s shattering, pathos-laden denouement; “See I’m not queer/ I’m too ugly” The sense of ennui this evokes is assuaged somewhat by Jimmy Pop’s stoic acceptance of his lot. The philosophical musings of Lift Your Head Up High (And Blow Your Brains Out) – “Life’s short and hard/Like a bodybuilding elf” – may seem like those of the misanthropist, yet it’s quite the opposite. What Bloodhound Gang gleefully document over the course of this album is life in all its mucky glory.
Why’s Everybody Always Pickin’ On Me again details Jimmy Pop’s looks with couplets most can only dream of penning – “He looks like Chewie – Baba Booey! Baba Booey!” U.S. sitcoms loom large in the album’s pop cultural vocabulary, and even the normally benign Bill Cosby sticks his hoagie in to give Jimmy Pop shit about his appearance. The singer’s imaginings of Gilligan (from the eponymous island) freaking out on acid and going postal are bettered only by the repeated affirmation at the crescendo of this particular flight of fancy that “The drummer from Def Leppard’s only got one arm” This is neither insult nor exploitation, but celebration, as Jimmy Pop truly marvels at the phenomenon of Def Leppard’s drummer, and the fact that he’s only got one arm.
Going Nowhere Slow’s chugging power chord finale sees Jimmy Pop tell us that “A-hole bands have A-hole fans” Hey, wait just a second Jimmy Po…okay, maybe. As the man himself says “If you were not entertained you did not drink enough beer” And damned if he’s not telling it like it is; this is an album that benefits from a few beers for the journey, a drinking album in the simple terms that the more you drink, the funnier it gets. That, or hammering your brain with alcohol at least makes it more tolerable, if you weren’t feeling it in the first place. For that, it’s the best of the genre, whatever the fuck that genre is. Start to finish ‘One Fierce Beercoaster’ is a hoot. Through hiphop and rap influences (see their pretty rockin’ cover of Run DMC’s It’s Tricky and a duet with none other than the inimitable Vanilla Ice), samples and celebrity impressions, to “motherfucker”-riddled balladry and punked-up power pop; it’s easy to forget amidst all the base humour that these guys can actually play. But you, me and the rest of the assholes already knew that.
Did you enjoy this weeks edition of Golden Vault? Get involved, comment below and join us next week in the Golden Vault where we’ll be discussing ‘Mule Variations’ by Tom Waits.