Soundtracks are musical period documents, and few are more slight, meaningless and enjoyable than Encino Man which preserves the early 90s: the lost era when hair metal still roamed the earth, oblivious to its impending extinction. Vince Neil kick-starts the procession with the riotously entertaining "You're Invited but Your Friend Can't Come," penned and performed with the Damn Yankees minus Terrible Ted (So is that Shaw on scorching lead guitar?). Irony abounds as, elsewhere on this record, Neil's Motley replacement John Corabi guides the Scream though the Mott-ish throwaway "Young and Dumb." Neil's solo inaugural also introduces the monkey concept later invoked by the Infectious Grooves (who perform their "YYZ" parody "Feed the Monkey" in the film). The old soundtrack-remake stratagem continues with Cheap Trick's unnecessary version of "Wild Thing" which gets pumping after an excruciatingly slow dirge opening. Maybe this is a tribute to Sam Kinison (or a template for their more-successful version of "Cold Turkey"), but the hard fact is Trick should not play slow. Queen's fully-loaded "Stone Cold Crazy" is always welcome, although this is a souped-up, modernized mix. Plus the boss "Frankenstein" pastiche and wild Steve Vai pyrotechnics nicely fulfill the instrumental requirements. But wait, Scatterbrain previews rap-rock with their cover of LL's "Mama Said Knock You Out," the obligatory out-of-place dance tunes are cool, and even the Jesus and Mary Chain shows up. Still, the preceding merely sets the stage for the penultimate masterpiece from right-band-wrong-time T. Ride whose cherry "Luxury Cruiser" is premium party-metal for the next millennium. Tone-Loc closes using Alice Cooper chunks in "Cool Hand Loc." Hooray for Hollywood and this time-capsule collection of schizophrenically-solid secrets from the Rock Age.
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AllMusic Review by Doug Stone