Duh

Blowhard

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    8
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AllMusic Review by

It has to be said, it's a wonderfully funny/dumb band name, and having the painting of a moron or something similar on the front cover beneath the big red letters of said name is deeply, wrongly entertaining. But is the album any good? Constructed from folks in the Boner/Steel Pole Bathtub orbit, including veterans from groups like Star Pimp, Blowhard is somewhere between a put-on and seriously rocking out, and it's not too clear where the boundaries are. With lead vocals from one El Bobo, the quartet kicks up a rough, aggressively produced stink; while the result isn't exactly Steel Pole Bathtub redux, it's clear that the connections had an impact. Guitars and bass both show the expected in-your-face, heavily produced crunch from said band, artily aggressive and all the better for it. Where things get a little goofy is in the lyrics; though they're hardly needed to enjoy the music on its own terms, a quick review of the various chants and screams in the CD insert indicates a deep San Francisco area in-joke at play. Sure, some things like Jello Biafra's name listed for no particular reason seem more like they're there than anything else, but then there are tracks like "The Second Coming of Mike." Winners from this one include the chorus "I've got it all/My legacy: Maximum Rock and Roll," referring to the punker-than-thou Berkeley indie fanzine of note (though its founder and editor was Tim Yohannon). Not that everything is quite so directly sharp, but even the more cryptic lyrics read a bit like intentional parodies of something else -- whether it's the band making fun of itself or with someone in mind is admittedly unclear. Even if the targets are fictional, though, the nuclear body slams that appear in "Mr. Mud" and "Spaghetti and Red Wine" are a hoot.

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