I don’t think that there’s anything that James Dewees won’t do on a record. It’s been half a decade since we’ve heard from Dewees in the form of Reggie and the Full Effect, but he’s back in … well, and I’m sorry, but I have to say this … in full effect. Sorry.
Attempting to add humor into music, especially music as dark and personal as RATFE’s can be, is walking on thin ice. Tough, but not impossible. Along with bands like Ludo and Wheatus, Dewees has always found a great balance to this tricky formula, and No Country for Old Musicians continues down that path, wasting no time in doing so. Right out of the gate, the ridiculous and twangy “Introduction” crashes (literally) into “Super Croc VS Mega Doosh,” which packs a Three Cheers-era My Chemical Romance sound.
The craziness continues during the span of the entire album, whether it’s the intergalactic spaghetti western “Guerrera,” the story of being pulled into the underworld because your plea bargain to exchange yourself for Bruno Mars failed on “37,” the fantastically ridiculous fake accent during “Sundae, Booty Sundae,” or a handful of other short half song/half skit pieces scattered throughout.
Dewees’ sense of humor is definitely noticeable, but it isn’t overpowering or overdone. On the songs and snippets that focus more on the comedic side, they make sure not to overstay their welcome, typically clocking in under a minute, acting more like quick intermissions than actual songs.
“Who Needs Another Drank?” is quick-witted and fun, and starts off with a sound-bite shoutout to Albany, which earned an instant bonus point in my book. “Kanji tattoos … Still in Style???” is a hands-down highlight, opening with clinking bells and swirling synths and eventually building to a chorus that makes you want to dance around in the rain and scream and swing your hair around in circles.
As much insanity as there is on No Country for Old Musicians, and I think the album art itself acts as a pretty good indicator for what you can expect, Dewees returns from a five-year break, still boasting his unrivaled ability to seamlessly stroll the line that separates absurdity and authenticity. All jokes aside, there’s a whole lot here to enjoy.
Release Date: November 19th, 2013
2. Super Croc VS. Mega Doosh
4. Fowlin’ Around
5. Revenge is a dish best served at Park Chan-Wook’s
7. Gimme back my leg
8. Robo Fonzie meets Frank
9. Who needs another drank featuring Floppy disk-0
10. Sundae, booty sundae featuring Fluxuation
11. Kanji tattoos still in style
12. We make a breakfast
13. To the Fruit Wizards of Donnington
14. DMV featuring Common Denominator
16. Danka Shane
Written By: Eric Riley