Shave the Planet

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Guttermouth have always been ridiculously crude, sarcastic, and politically incorrect. They're like the bratty younger brothers of NOFX who could test even the hardened nerves of Fat Mike. But unlike their recently cause-driven kinsmen, Mark Adkins and crew never really stray from the schoolboy idiocies of their past for even vaguely serious stabs at political or societal musings. Shave the Planet, their tenth album, is absolutely no different. Sure, the exasperations of living in America at the turn of the century frustrate them as much as the next band, but they'd rather display their aggravation by showing no regard for anything at all, as in tactless songs about erectile dysfunction, sex with minors, popping Zoloft, and Darwin's theory of evolution (which is covered in the great, Jello Biafra-esque "Primate Camp"). Obesity is tackled in especially compassionate terms ("I'd like to tell you tastefully/Your ass is an enormity"), with brief background chants of "bulimia" thrown in for good measure. But while the crass humor and reckless energy of Guttermouth are appreciated in today's hypersensitive Hot Topic punk scene, Shave the Planet just seems haphazard and unfocused, even for them. With 2004's Eat Your Face, Guttermouth were on a defiant mission to carry on Cali punk as it was when bands weren't so concerned with image and Myspace totals. With this album, however, the only thing that's clear is that Guttermouth still enjoy attempts at crossing the line for the mere act of crossing it -- but even insubordination needs a direction sometimes. So though the sarcastic "God, Steve McQueen 'The Work Song'" is a rollicking, fun ode to the workforce and "The 23 Things That Rhyme with Darby Crash" is pretty amusing if only for its subject matter, Shave the Planet ends before it ever really gets started -- and that's not even considering its run time of a mere 22 minutes.

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