Catchy, quirky and very funny.
Kevin H. Dudley | Roanoke, VA (USA) | 10/11/2005
(5 out of 5 stars)
"While browsing the used CD section in my town's local Wherehouse Music store, I stumbled across a band's name in the "R" section that made me laugh out loud. The band was called The Reach Around Rodeo Clowns and their CD was entitled Whip It Out. I just had to buy the CD off of the name alone as that is possibily the goofiest band name I've ever seen and I had to have it in my CD collection.
Imagine my surprise when I actually got home to pop in the CD and how good the CD actually turned out to be.
If you took The Stray Cats, The Clash, Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Weird Al Yankovic, Elvis, ZZ Top, Johnny Cash, Dick Dale & George Jones, threw them all in a musical blender, you would end up with something very close to resembling The Reach Around Rodeo Clowns.
Hailing from Pennsylvania, the band consists of Wendell Jones (vocals), brother Quentin Jones (guitars), Jan Luszczek (upright bass) and Dave Ferrara (drums). This CD called Whip It Out came out in 1997. I think that the band has released one CD since then and from what I can tell on the internet they are still around opening for the likes of some popular artists including Jewel(!). The band calls themselves "psychobilly". Some of the lyrics are extremely sexist but aren't meant to be taken seriously in the least.
Most of the songs on the CD come in at a little over/under 3 minutes. There are 14 tracks in total and they all boast a lot of surprisingly tight musicianship, hilarious lyrics and some smoking upright bass playing (I'm a bass player myself of the electric variety). Plus, I really liked the Elvis like vocal inflections that the singer injected during a lot of the CD.
Just a glimpse of the some of the song titles should give you a bit of insight into what you're in for:
1)Mexico: Starting out with a very brisk tempo and some tight guitar/bass work during the verse sections. Lyrically this deals with an older man wanting to take his underage girlfriend to Mexico "where the heat don't go". The band breaks into more of a half tempo feel during the chorus. Hilarious lyrics!
2)Bad Dudes-A-Surfing: A surf number in the Dick Dale vein that is about some bad surfers taking over a particular beach. Features a great guitar solo.
3)Come Yodel in my Canyon: One of the first double entendree songs of the CD. With a very laid back country feel during the hilarious verse sections, the band then breaks into a fast punk/thrash part with some of the most intentionally bad yodeling you're likely to hear. The tuba is an extra nice touch. Hence the title, it's about a woman telling her lover to come "yodel in her canyon".
4)It's Not the Same Anymore: Sounding like a lost Stray Cats song, this is one of the more rockabilly tracks on. Features a great chorus.
5)Beaver: A more straight ahead blues rocker that is another blatantly sexist track about a woman and her pet beaver. Sounds like it could have come off of the Pulp Fiction soundtrack during the guitar solo. "Well he sits up on a log, goofin' with my dog, she's got a beaver!"
6)She Sure Sucks a Lot: Another more straight ahead blues rocker that has a ZZ Top vibe to it. The title says it all about the lyrical content.
7)The Road to Hell: My personal favorite track off of the CD. A brisk tempo and some great upright bass playing greet the listener. The pseudo-preaching stop/start chorus sections in particular are hilarious. The singer talks about what you'll find on the road to hell (or life on the road as a working rock musician). "YEAH BOY!!!"
8)Bad News Story: One of the more punk sounding songs on the album. Pay particular attention to the upright bass during the verse sections, but this is one of the more generic songs on the CD though I still liked it.
9)Psychobilly Band: A brisk chicken-pickin' country feel finds the singer telling about how he left his life on the "farm" and started a "psychobilly band". Some more fantastic upright bass playing during a few breaks between the choruses and verse sections.
10)Flame-Thrower: The heaviest track on the CD. Very punkish with a much more hard-rock/metal vibe.
11)The Big Guy Stomp: Starting out with a very strange chanting section, this another more straight ahead rocker with some especially funny lyrics.
12)Every Day is Saturday to a Dog: A brisk rock feel meets some great lyrics about life from a dog's point of view.
13)Whip It Out: Another brisk punk feel with some very tongue-in-cheek sexist lyrics.
14)Bodies in my Basement: At first sounds like more of a mid-tempo metal rocker about a guy who is scared to go down in his basement and what he finds when he does finally get the courage to venture down there.
The one complaint that I have with the CD is that the most variety comes during the 1st half of the CD. The 2nd half contains some songs that sound a bit too similar but are still pretty cool. The CD's main advantage is that most of the songs are pretty short and concise. None of them wear out their welcome. The singer in particular really helps out the proceedings with his pseudo-Elvis style delivery. Kind of reminds me of Tortelvis from the now defunct parody/novelty band Dread Zeppelin. The bass player in particular had a very aggressive but smoking playing style that fit very well in the mix and really propelled the songs along.
The production could have been a bit better but as this CD was recorded dirt cheap, it sounds pretty good all things considering. The guitar is a bit loud in the mix at times, but nothing approaching ear killing levels.
It's by no means the deepest or best CD that I've ever heard, but I found myself consistently entertained when listening to it. The band's sense of humor is great but doesn't turn the CD into nothing but a collection of novelty tunes. These guys have a unique sound and I hope that they are still together. This CD seems to represent a very solid stepping off point and they released another CD called Circuit Rider in 2000 which I haven't heard yet but want to try to find.
If you think that you've heard it all and want to check out something that will make you laugh while musically entertaining you at the same time, I highly recommend this CD.
It's a bit uneven at times, but overall makes a worthwhile purchase for adventurous music fans. Plus, how could you not want to own a CD with a band name like The Reach Around Rodeo Clowns anyway?! :)"
mrpickle | Orlando, FL USA | 08/14/2000
(5 out of 5 stars)
"These guys are tearing-up PA with their comical, rhythmic tunes. I would recommend this band for international tours if I promoted bands! Check them out if you love musical comedy."