The Kingsmen

How to Stuff a Wild Bikini [Original Soundtrack]

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Although frat rock godfathers the Kingsmen have their name featured boldly on the front cover, the original soundtrack album How to Stuff a Wild Bikini is pure Hollywood. The bulk of the album is taken up with cornball numbers performed by the film's cast members, so while beach party movie fans will enjoy Harvey Lembeck singing in the guise of his Eric Von Zipper character, anyone looking for real rock will come up empty. The Kingsmen get two tracks at the very end of the record, and they do their best to lend some grit to the package. A by-the-numbers garage stomp called "Give Her Lovin'" hits all its marks, but not with enough energy to propel it past a rather pedestrian riff. The Northwestern rockers also take on the film's theme song, an awkward, goofy thing that the band sounds slightly embarrassed by. The rest of the tunes are bubblegum-sweet pop and musical theater-style numbers from the film's narrative, some of which are particularly eccentric when taken out of context. Stars Lembeck, Annette Funicello, and Mickey Rooney each get two showcases apiece; Lembeck's are bizarre but funny, Funicello's are simple but charming, and Rooney's are just downright grating. Frankie Avalon is nowhere in sight, though his role in the film itself was little more than a cameo, so his absence is excused. There's a lot of kitschy fun to be had with How to Stuff a Wild Bikini, especially an ode to the physical charms of the fairer sex ("That's What I Call a Healthy Girl") that should have been a hit. Kingsmen fans won't dig up much garage action, though the brash cover photos of frugging beach bunnies ought to ease the sting somewhat.

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