In Search of Seven Golden Gussets

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Any artist who opens an album blowing a raspberry at the listener is just asking for attention, isn't he? Well, Max Splodge certainly deserves your attention, if not your devotion. Splitting up the original lineup that recorded the fabulous self-titled album in 1980 and shortening the name to a kinder, gentler Splodge, Max and his new musical mates mine the same ground as before: goofy punk rock. As much as there is to love about Splodge (terrific tunes and maniacal musical mayhem), it's also easy to get frustrated over all of the unused potential that Max pours down the drain in favor of silliness. But then again, that silliness is just part of Max's charm, isn't it? "Graffiti," "Old 'Ya Cherries," "Crabs," "Pathetique," "No No Yeah," "Cigarette," and the title track are a few of the dozen or so songs that resemble the Splodge of old. "Overdramatic Songs (In Very Low Voices)" is a funny swipe at the new romantics who were dominating the charts at the time (Duran Duran, Spandau Ballet, et al). Almost half of the album's original 23 tracks were short skits, jokes, and half-songs that are humorous (you just have to hear "Baked Bean") but unessential. If Max would have mixed more humor into the music and phased out the short little bits in between songs, then this would have been a much stronger release. Still, the songs that are here are some of his finest, so there's no arguing with that, is there?

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