2) Raising Teenage Girls
3) Old School
4) Be A Dick 2Nite
5) My Rock N Roll Dream
6) Mr. Rock N Roll
7) Who's Better Than Us?!
8) Family Warrior
9) Sugar Rush
11) The Unexplained
OUR RATING (out of 10)
Before this moment I'd never even heard of Jim Breuer but I thought I'd look him up after reading the album notes on our invite to review his upcoming album 'Songs From The Garage' that had been kicking around the office here at MLivePro. What greeted me was a mixture of hilariously clean stand up comedy, Saturday Night Live sketches, scarily accurate Joe Pesci impersonations and a LOT of good natured heavy metal antics. But by far the biggest thing that endeared me to this man and his music was that he is a family man through and through. I mean, I've been sitting here for hours watching his material on YouTube and I've been laughing to the point of tears more than a few times... Joe Pesci doing SatNav, FUCKING HILARIOUS!!!!!
But what about the music? What does Jim Breuer And The Loud And Rowdy offer us? The answer is this, a collection of full ahead rock and metal songs with a sense of humour, not dissimilar in style from Steel Panther. The one glaring difference between the two though is the absence of sexuality and drugs references. This is good clean fun, and an absolute blast from start to finish. Jim's influences bleed through the music loud and clear.
'Thrash' begins the fun with Metallica style riffs, and lyrics about getting just a bit of time out from the family to rock out in your own little world inside the headphones. I was particularly tickled by the Ozzy and Sharon Osbourne impersonation.
Next we have 'Raising Teenage Girls'. You can guess what this one's about, and Jim is spot on with the lyrics about how teenage kids (especially daughters) can have you on the point of a nervous breakdown with their antics but you wouldn't change it for the world. I found this one to have a kind of an Offspring/Faith No More vibe to it. So far so good.
'Old School' is an homage to Eighties hard rock and metal is very clearly influenced by bands like Metallica, Judas Priest, AC/DC, and Alice Cooper. I can also hear some Iron Maiden in the mix, especially on the verses.
'Be A Dick 2Nite' really made me smile and laugh. It's about that one guy we all know who loves you to bits but you can't take him anywhere as he will end up completely wasted and ruining your night out. I've known a few people like this and had a few similar experiences myself. The lyrics are spot on and light hearted, and the music once again draws on the Metallica influence, namely 'Seek And Destroy'.
'My Rock N Roll Dream' is a nice bluesy interlude with the spoken unmistakable jordie voice of AC/DC's Brian Johnson, going into 'Mr Rock N Roll' where Jim and Brian perform together. The music on this track is as you'd imagine very AC/DC with the guitars taking on that unmistakable Angus Young style, proving that AC/DC still kick ass with the best of them.
Following this, we have the swaggering 'Who's Better Than Us?!' and closely on it's heels comes 'Family Warrior', a lesson in how to beat the stress of family life by rising above the bad and turning it into good by being strong during the rough times. This is done to a Skid Row 'Piece Of Me' backing and is evidently Jim's battlecry as a family man holding it together when things are falling apart around him. While I'm on the subject of Skid Row, we come to my favourite track 'Sugar Rush' which reminds me of Skid Row's 'Makin'A Mess' with a Scorpions sound mixed in. Being a dad I immediately identified with the lyrics that are about the comedic dangers of giving your kids too much sugar and how mad and uncontrollable they get when they've had one too many sweets. Great times remembered of kids birthday parties, Halloween and Christmas!
'Wannabe' is pretty much about being yourself amid the absolute deluge of plastic celebrity culture, sitting back and seeing how absolutely laughable it is.
'The Unexplained' wraps things up Avenged Sevenfold/Metalica style . I wasn't sure what to make of this track, whether it was a serious track standing apart from the rest of the album in tone or not. Dont get me wrong, I still enjoyed it but I felt a bit different listening to it.
I was surprised to find out that 'Songs From The Garage' was the first full length by Jim and his cronies. This is mainly in part to the expert musicianship on offer here and crystal clear production. The involvement of AC/DC's Brian Johnson guesting on vocals and Rob Caggiano (ex Anthrax and currently of Volbeat) on guitars and production is a definite plus. Rob really brings a lot of the album to life and not least with his skills on production. He captures moods and projected influences perfectly with a charming and tongue in cheek transparency. Jim himself has a voice perfectly suited to hard rock and performs with as much humour and gusto as he does with his stand up. I'm very much reminded of Johnny Sollinger (ex Skid Row), being their tone and range is of an alike quality. Joe Vigliotti and Mike Tichy on bass and drums respectively, do a grand job of holding things together on the rhythm section.
To conclude, this is pretty much a family friendly Steel Panther for dads, with the exception of perhaps 'Be A Dick 2nite'. I've not had this much fun listening to an album since Steel Panther's 'Feel The Steel' or 'All U Can Eat'. Every song on the album is written with the same direct comedy style which never fails to make me smile. Very few comedy rock acts can pull off a non disposable effort, as the jokes wear very thin after a while, but Jim Breuer And The Loud And Rowdy manage it very nicely. Here's hoping that Jim Breuer decides to bring his act over to the UK very soon.
Words by Paul Clarke.