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June 22, 2024

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Blue Meanies
Full Throttle (Thick Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Tired of the same old music on the radio? Want something new, innovative, and something you'll never grow tired of? Welcome to the Blue Meanies! Put punk with some ska and jazz, and throw in a bunch of noisy guitars and a lot of distortion you have this talented seven-piece band from Chicago, Illinois.

The CD starts off with "The 4th of July." Billy's strong vocals make up a big portion of the music, while the stomping guitar marks it's territory throughout the song. The horns play nice jazz and ska melodies, while the percussionist pounds the shit out of his drums. The bassist crams all the energy has into every tap of the strings, and the keyboard player adds more noise to the combination with his powerful synthesizer. If you want some ska, with powerful horns, and a lot of noise all rolled into a great song with brilliant lyrics you've come to the right place, "Smash the Magnavox." The horns cut their way through all the smog, while the guitar screams at some parts, and throws in a bit of ska at the beginning. While the background music is throwing powerful beats your way, Billy Spunke is throwing his dynamic lyrics your way about how his family and many other families are not like they are on T.V. Do you know any families like the Keatons, The Cleavers, or any other T.V. family? I don't, and sometimes it makes me want to go and destroy the T.V. too. Almost everyone will be, and should be, able to relate to this song. This song is so powerful in both the lyrical sense as well as in the musical form, that you'll be addicted to the album after one listen. "Smother Me" starts out very soft and then throws in a little BANG! then it slows down again and is very gentle and calm. The horns set the mood and fool you into relaxing your body. Then the music kicks you in the ass and thrusts everything on you "Full Throttle." Suddenly the song is fast, with blaring horns that scream through the night. The drums are pounded furiously, and suddenly you'll find yourself beating your feet and head to the music. Then they throw in some ska, and you'll be power skankin' all over the place. But be careful not to pass out. Make sure your in great physical health before dancing to this record. "The Noise of Democracy" is a very political song that questions democracy as it stands in the U.S. Our society is so messed up these days, and Billy sheds his views on the subject in a very strong manner. Nobody else can do political songs this powerful, and do I ever mean power! This is a song that would have Tim "The Tool man" Taylor jumping up in glee! Suddenly the song calms down, and the words are fully absorbed into your system. The use of a megaphone is also used here, and sounds great. During this slow time is a great time to sit and relax, because you know they're going to throw more fast and furious beats your way. And suddenly it hits you like a comet, and your feet get up and start moving along with the beautifully deep horns that sound very melodic, even though they are forced to be played with speed. And that takes talent! "The Devil Came to the 9th Ward" starts out with distorted vocals, probably ran through a megaphone. Imagine a great punk band with industrial like distorted vocals, while the horns cry for your attention in the back. A drummer beats endlessly on the drums, and the bass player slams his bass like there's no tomorrow. Add into that mix a guitar that goes from soft ska beats, to melodic beats, to hard and fast noisy rock beats. Have an imagine in your mind yet? You can't even begin to hear the originality in this music, unless you try it for yourself! "Deep in the Hopes" will even throw a song at you that has improvised lyrics. That's right, they improvised the lyrics in the studio! You can't beat this band. They're too talented not to take over the world.

Just for originality alone I should give this CD an A+. But no, they also throw great music your way, with deep, well thought out lyrics. They earn the A+ I'm giving them, yes they earn it with flying colors. Pick up this CD today at your local independent store, or order it straight from Thick Records.

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