Until his death in 2003, Wesley Willis' crudely amusing musical observations -- usually performed solo with a guitar and a primitive rhythm machine -- were either uniquely intriguing or deeply disturbing. On Greatest Hits, Vol. 3, the third installment in a series of compilations through Jello Biafra's Alternative Tentacles label, songs like "My Mother Smokes Crack Rocks," "I Whipped Spiderman's Ass," and "Make My Joyplane Crash and Burn" may not boast the most innovative of arrangements, but Willis' lyrics and ADD-like delivery make for golden moments. Not so, however, for titles like "The Viper Room" and "Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers." These odes just aren't as funny or fascinating as one might hope, as the former finds Willis touting the virtues of Johnny Depp's infamous nightclub without any hint of sarcasm, while the latter is basically a concert review set to music. Two of the most controversial tracks here -- "Suck a Pitbull's Dick" and "Suck a Polar Bear's Dick," respectively -- are probably worth skipping if you're faint of heart. But "Verbal Assault," in which Willis' public use of obscenity is met with retribution from a city bus driver, counters such repulsiveness while still remaining charmingly offensive.
Greatest Hits, Vol. 3 Review
by John D. Luerssen