Duh

Unholy Handjob

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    5
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When what appeared to be the follow-up album to Blowhard appeared, confusion ran rampant, as compared to the sometimes-serious, sometimes-silly debut, Handjob seemed to be nothing more than a series of bad, stupid tunes about bad, stupid jokes. The truth turned out to be stranger than fiction -- a couple of years previously, Boner, Duh's original label, had put out a supposed collaboration between Jello Biafra and Plainfield, disguised as an official Alternative Tentacles release right down to the catalog number. The whole thing was a hilarious if childish put-on, and in revenge Biafra and company decided to become Duh, taking over everything about said band intent on dragging their name into the mud. Everyone is vaguely disguised via pseudonyms, but it looks like Biafra's companions in Lard, aka Al Jourgenson and Paul Barker, also helped out, since the album was partially recorded in their Texas studio. The end result, as mentioned, is an intentionally terrible, ridiculous effort, steering away from the Steel Pole Bathtub-derived fierceness of the real Duh in favor of cheesy metal/punk/corp rock idiocies. The vocalist (clearly not Biafra, that much is clear) aims for yelled pseudo-metal smoothness, if such a thing exists, and the riffs and songs are as rockingly clich├ęd as they get. If Butt Trumpet, say, had done this kind of thing, nobody would have noticed much about it, and if it had been marketed as a direct parody, doubtless little would have cared. But as an in-joke par excellence it's pretty nutty. Major points go to the song titles (examples: "Buns of Marshmellow," "My Fraulein From the Black Forest," "Our Guitarist Is in Faith No More") and the decision to cover both the Three's Company theme and the Undertones' "Teenage Kicks." The album art, meanwhile, is funny as hell, with a series of photographs supposedly detailing Duh's world-conquering antics.

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