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Music

Betty Already: Amerimaniacs

Jason Thompson

Betty Already

Amerimaniacs

Label: Fly Lyla
US Release Date: 2001-06-19
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I wish Betty Already's Amerimaniacs were as funny or interesting as the band would like me to believe. Instead, it just sounds like obnoxious shit that fails to make any sort of impression other than the fact that it just plain sucks. I guess we're supposed to be impressed that the band got a boost from Zthing.com who loved the group so much that they asked Betty vocalist Kitty to do the singing on their Britney Spears parody "Oops, I Farted Again". I don't know. The fact that such a song was even made to begin with is questionable. I saw kids in chat rooms bandying that stupid title about when Britney's last album was first released. So there's a ton of originality for you. Anyway, Zthing.com also saw fit to make a video for the Betty Already song "Vampire in the Sun". A "first" no less, but why waste such an opportunity on a band like this, whose press kit compares them to X and the B-52s, but not really? Eh, no one will care in another three months.

The comparisons to X and the B-52s are indeed pointless, as Betty Already are nowhere near being half as good as either of those bands. The music is your generic poseur punk/fast rock brand of noise that at least a million other small-time bands in the nation are turning out. In the vocals department, Betty Already don't feature anything interesting either. Scott and Kitty share lead vocal duties and neither one of them can carry a tune. Scott sounds like some cross between Sutton of Soulcracker and your local grease monkey down at the Jiffy Lube, and Kitty wails away much as her moniker would imply. And when they caterwaul together, it makes for some incredibly painful moments.

That pain starts right at the beginning with the title track, which I assume is supposed to be really funny, with sarcastic lines like "We're Americans -- we're the ones / We're the ones with the biggest guns / We're American -- fuck the rest / We know how to kill the best". Or maybe that's supposed to be deep. I dunno, but in either case it's lame with other idiotic lines like "Nightly news has the very best lies / Eat it up like super size fries". OK, Weird Al. I think I may do that. Hmmm. Sorry to put Al's good name in such sorry company.

When they're not trying their hardest to make big statements, Betty Already sing songs with even worse elementary lines. For instance, "Betty" chants "Betty get ready -- ready to go" and "Let's dance -- let's dance" a few times too many. The chorus of "Feed Me Cake" goes "I want cake -- feed me cake/I want cake -- feed me cake / I want cake" and the song also includes the lunk-headed lines "Consume to live -- live to consume / 'Cause where I live there's plenty of room / For TV kids with flies at their eyes / Business as usual -- why ask why". Why indeed. I've yet to come up with any answers.

I know they wanna make you think they're all about the rock, but then there are such clinkers as "H-Bomb". Lines like "You're a hydrogen bomb on a sunny day / A dead baby at a picnic / Like a nuclear wind you blow me away / And make me kind of sick" just kind of take the punch out of the music, which has very little of that in itself. And what about that prized "Vampire in the Sun", anyway? Well I suppose it's a dig at goth rock kids, but Betty Already have no room to talk since they're no better. I'll take Siouxsie or Bauhaus any day over such detritus as "You've read all the books by that evil Anne Rice / You're morbid and you're brooding and you're not very nice / Sleeping in a coffin and you dream you're a bat / I think you're a supercilious under-nourished brat". I'm amazed that they even understood what the word "supercilious" meant and could use it in a song filled with the worst moon/June/spoon rhymes that you could imagine.

But that's par for the course for Betty Already and Amerimaniacs. There's nothing amusing or outright rocking here, be it in "Squirrelly Girly" or "Fire Drill". It's all just bad jokes and snot-nosed attitudes that go wasted on routine rock patterns that any kid can lay down within a matter of 30 minutes. But like I said at the top, this album sucks and no one will care three months down the line about this band, if they even do now. Hopefully the Zthing limelight will burn out soon.

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