Fraternity of Man


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The best thing that can be said about this mid-'90s EP is that it is only 16 minutes in length. The Fraternity of Man began as a late-'60s combo that gained a cult-like popularity thanks to the inclusion of its novelty side "Don't Bogart Me" in the film and subsequent soundtrack of Easy Rider (1969). The band issued two marginal (at best) long-players, Fraternity of Man (1968) and Get It On (1969), and this aptly titled debacle, X (1995). The effort contains five tracks, with "Fherinst" simply being an abbreviated instrumental version of the song "Fuck Her." Although one-time Mothers of Invention member Elliot Ingber (guitar) as well as Larry "Stash" Wagner (vocals/harmonica) returned from the original lineup, they bring little more than nostalgia to this disc. The title commences with remakes of early Fraternity of Man material such as the previously mentioned "Don't Bogart Me" as well as the faux '50s juvenile and sexist "Bikini Baby," which depicts a clothing-optional and recreational chemical-enhanced spouse-swapping shoreline confab. I guess some folks never matured past the 1960s, and proof of that can be found throughout the insipid ode to a jilted lover title "Fuck Her." The final track, "Everybody's Rockin'," is credited to another seminal Mother of Invention, "Baby" Ray Collins. This rocker is arguably the most listenable song on the disc, although only a masochist would enjoy the experience. Like the proverbial crossbones that signify danger, poison, and a general sense of unhealthiness, X is best left out of reach, where it can do the least amount of damage.

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