Subject: I have found a CD that I think you would enjoy
The Tale of the Giant Rat of Sumatra
Genres: Special Interest, Soundtracks
Full title - Tale Of The Giant Rat of Sumatra. Reckoned byFire aficionados to be one of their best, as Rarebus Cannebus attempts to put out the sun, aliens attack and the lights go out all over the world. Collector's Choic... more »
Full title - Tale Of The Giant Rat of Sumatra. Reckoned byFire aficionados to be one of their best, as Rarebus Cannebus attempts to put out the sun, aliens attack and the lights go out all over the world. Collector's Choice. 2001.
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Member CD Reviews
SV S. (Sphinx)
Reviewed on 5/12/2016...
I'm not really a fan of Firesign Theatre, having picked this up for the Sherlock Holmes reference. It was pretty disappointing as a pastiche, and also as comedy (much too juvenile for me, and lacking coherence). I don't go for jokes about bodily functions, ribald plays on words and phrases, or other 15-year-old boy humour, but if you enjoy those things, this may be for you.
There was not enough silence on this disc to allow the jokes to be effective; the creators simply piled pun after pun on top of each other in an endless stream of noise and irritating voice-acting, with no opportunity to let punchlines sink in before expecting the listener to move on to the next bit. Some of it could have been clever, but the delivery was a good imitation of a raving coke-fiend. Too bad.
A fine Firesign title, though a hair below their best.
(4 out of 5 stars)
""Giant Rat" is the Firesign's Sherlock Holmes parody, originally relased in 1974. At the time, it was viewed as a sort of a "comeback" album as it came shortly after the group had disbanded briefly to pursue solo projects. It didn't make the splash it could've (the following release, "Everything You Know Is Wrong" would fare better) but is still a very funny title. If you know what the Firesign Theatre is all about, then grab without hesitation. For you neophytes, the Firesign Theatre dragged the comedy album into the '60s psychedelic era and beyond, peppering their albums with lofty literary references, drug jokes, bad puns, and a tip of the hat to classic radio. They took full advantage of studio capabilities and multi-tracking, creating a surreal comic landscape that could take you anywhere (from the Academy Awards to War to Indian Reservations to Eastern Europe...). "Rat" is one of their fastest paced entries and owes a lot to the Goon Show. The theme here is power and corruption as famed detective and cokehead Hemlock Stones (Philip Proctor) and his trusty companion Dr. John Flotsam (David Ossman) help filthy rich magnate Jonas Acme (Peter Bergman) recover the stolen "Zeppo Tube" (a powerful invention) from the hands of the maniacal Electrician (Phil Austin). Like a Python film or Kids in the Hall episode, the four members of the troupe essay dozens of roles each, all unique and hilarious. It may be a hair below their greatest work ("How Can You Be In Two Places...," "Don't Crush That Dwarf..."), as it is somewhat less surreal and ambitious, but even their weakest material (and this is NOT their weakest) is better than most everything else that passes for comedy today. Long live the Firesign Theatre!"
Some of the FST's best work
steampunk1881 | Louisiana | 07/26/2002
(5 out of 5 stars)
"Usually this album is omitted in FST discussions, but it ranks with their best. As usual, listen over and over again through headphones; you won't be disappointed. So follow Hemlock Stones the Great Defective as he chases after the Electrician from Ampere Watt, through early 20th century America as it might have been."