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The Beanweevils: self-titled

Jason Thompson

The Beanweevils

The Beanweevils

Label: Weed
US Release Date: 2001-10-23

The Beanweevils is without a doubt the most repugnant release of the year. Period. I hasten to even write a full-length review for this group because doing so would bring them attention that they don't deserve. However, the group does have fans in the likes of Michael Urbano, drummer for Smashmouth, who delcares "I love the Beanweevils", and Vince Welnick, (ex-Tubes) who decrees "I gotta meet these guys, check that, I gotta HANG OUT with these guys. They remind me of the Tubes during their most creative period." Sure. To me, they're nothing more than a group of faux hipsters who are another band of smarmy musicians that sound like they got left out of every cool crowd in town. They want to come across as witty as Zappa, blending equal parts We're Only in It for the Money and Over-Nite Sensation, but what The Beanweevils have failed to realize is that Frank's potty humor always had a satirical edge to it. Here, that edge is nowhere to be found, with only the fart jokes left in place.

Imagine if you will what Sharon, Lois, and Bram's Elephant Show would sound like if it was geared towards horny 14-year-old boys. It's the kind of stuff that would make Butthead say things like, "They said 'semen'. Huhhuhuhuhuh." Musically, every song here sounds like some kind of hellish sitcom theme that you won't be able to get out of your head. The lyrics, though, are another story. Lead Beanweevil "Bean" is a San Francisco "cab driver by day", who takes his little stories to home at night and cranks out the mean-spirited, clueless songs that make up the 10 tracks on the band's disc.

The "crock of shit" chorus on the opening track, "Take a Bus" is amusing enough, but from there on out, The Beanweevils pulls out all the stops and in turn becomes an utterly pointless exercise in foul-mouthed stupidity. All it takes is one listen to "Plak!", a song about a woman who loses her vagina. Take a look: "That's the night it happened / The night she'll never forget / She sneezed a sneeze, and then she coughed . . . / That's when her pussy fell off / Plak! / It was the sound that her pussy made / Quack! / She stepped on it when it started to slide / And then they both started sliding away". Oh, that is funny. To a 10-year-old perhaps. The kind of thing that would make washed-up comics like Andrew Dice Clay fall to pieces.

Then there's "Sherry", a tune about a girl with a bit of a problem. "She pulled down her hippy dress / Yeah, she gave me a peek / I reached in with my hand / To give her a tweak / She had hairy . . . areolas! / Sherry, hairy areola! / And so I started to suck / Yeah, on her titty I started to suck / But her hair got stuck in my teeth / When I pulled away, she made a little squeak". Go ahead. Say I don't have a sense of humor. But it gets worse, I promise. Apparently no one told Bean and his buddies (including obnoxious vocalist Kelly Amthor) that singing songs about alternative kids in the mall went out of style about seven years ago. But they roll on in "Notice Me", with plenty of worn out food court observations. "There's a guy with purple hair / I see him in the coffee shop / And when he talks, he's always talkin' loud / When he talks he looks around / To see who's watchin' while he's talkin' / Think he wants to stand out in the crowd". And then the grating chorus, "Notice me notice me notice / Notice me notice me notice / Notice me notice me. No, no! Notice me!" Ironic how the Beanweevils are ultimately no better than the people they slag.

The trivialities continue in "Sucker", where the band can't get enough of singing about all those kids that probably never invited them to all the cool parties. "We have a chain store called 'Hot Topic' / Next to the place that sells cheese pretzels / They sell alternative wear / I wanna work there / 'Cuz I'm a sucker . . . sucker . . . hopelessly suburban". And The Beanweevils are just a holier than thou deserving big city band. Sure. I suppose one can dream. Again, they seem to be grasping at sarcastic yet poignant character studies that people like Ben Folds are renowned for. But here, there's nothing but smirking and preening going on with zero behind the knee-to-the-groin-joke mentality.

But they soldier on, singing "My trousers are all covered in semen stains / But I don't think about it, I've got boobies on the brain" in "Strip Club", and hit us with such boring retreads as "I'm a Deadhead and my dog's name is Jed / My dog's on a rope and I don't use soap / I got dreads and Guatamalan threads" on "Deadhead". Then there's the thrills of "EOTFY", or "Everyone's Out to Fuck You" (and you thought "Special Secret Song Inside" was a stupid cover-up for the Chili Peppers' "Party on Your Pussy" from The Uplift Mofo Party Plan), and the attempt to get topical about heroin junkies on "I'm Sooo Happy".

The only thing that saves The Beanweevils from getting flushed is the music. It's well produced, tightly executed, and yes, is quite catchy. But so what? With lame brained potty-mouthed tunes such as these, there's really no reason to bother with any redeeming qualities the band may have. Perhaps they should try to write some commercial jingles. That way, their disposable music would actually serve a purpose. Until then, The Beanweevils and their little album can continue wowing Smashmouth and The Tubes. It's not like "All Star" will go down in the history books, either.

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