The Raunchy Young Lepers

Off to the Front

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The final Lepers effort outside of the brief reunion years later, Off to the Front got its name from the fact that the Goat-Boy had decided to join the Army. So as a way to wrap up the Lepers and kill it off, all members except Dr. Pain, who didn't want to have anything more to do with it, joined in one last session of strange and wrong material. There are more than a few references to the Goat-Boy's imminent departure, including the jaunty title track and "Wednesday He's Gone," prefaced by B.S. asking in an accusatory voice, "They own your soul, Goat -- why did you sell it for sub-minimum wage?" It's weird to realize how even the Goat-Boy had progressed from the earliest days, at least in terms of actually being able to play -- the results weren't truly deathless on a level of quality as opposed to goofiness, but it's still something. Even a version of the old traditional "The Hell-Bound Train" sounds comparatively calm. B.S. certainly doesn't respect the changing of the years with the opening "Gallows Ditty II" -- "The crowds have gathered/To watch you die!" Then there's "I Is a Philosophizer?," the contents of which are about summed up in the title phrase. As a cockeyed salute to their suspect musical past, the three participants chose, by means of slips of paper in a bowl, random titles from their past which they then proceeded to rerecord. "Three Cheers for Pumper," "Drafting Teachers Unite!," and a bluesy "Gloved Dick" don't sound as perfectly off as the originals, but it's good fun. There's even one last original song about the Grim Reaper, which, as B.S. says by means of mock-formal introduction, pretty much dominated many Leper songs. There's more inter-song banter than on any of the other recordings, making the utterly informal but amusing proceedings even more so.

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