Fat Randy | Reagganomics
Family Average: 3/7
Do you enjoy hearing other's opinions? How about smoooooth jazz? Or maybe, you just like some good old-fashioned lampooning? If you answered yes to any of these questions…we can't guarantee you will like Fat Randy's latest album. In fact, it might make you pretty irate. What did the family think? Well, there's a lot of screaming, sarcasm, and confusion—sound's right up their alley.
Listen along on Spotify and read on to see just what they had to say:
Sure is a whole lot of pumping going on with these fellas (and ladies). I said to this charming person sitting adjacent to me (Meg) while mid-listen that this music reminds me heaps of the ideas and attitudes to come out of the 90s in pop culture. I think that holds true for the entirety of the album.
Man oh man, does this just scream in your face. Please do not interpret that as me not liking it. I like when stuff screams in my face. I want the little pieces of spit to hurtle out of their mouth and land on my face. This album does that. It is not afraid to get silly, angry, happy, and handsy. And a lot of the risks they took really paid off for me. Their injection of some jazzy rhythms and tones coming from the brass instruments is just one of those risks.
Then again, some didn’t quite pay off for them in other instances. For example the song literally titled “Gogol Bordello” that just sounds like a parody of a Gogol Bordello song. That's where the album kinda started to lose me. It began to feel hidden under a lot of layers of irony. Which is cool, but then you start bringing politics into it, and I get a little confused. Should I be taking your message seriously? Is it all just for laughs? Does Kevin Maldjian have a drinking problem? Yes, yes he does.
To summarize, I had a good time dancing and then something weird smeared around kinda left a bad taste in my mouth.
The album title alone on Fat Randy’s newest release was a red flag that this was gonna be strange ride. It’s a bashing jazz-punk-rock based baby-liberal showcase with smashing cymbals and a rogue saxophone.
Nothing about this album is relaxing or exactly pleasurable to listen to—it’s aggressive yet lighthearted, and shockingly seems to work. The album functions like an ironic political op-ed ripping the government a new one through sarcastic remarks. The lyrics and ironic tenor of the album as a whole feels like an attempt to be subversive and make a political statement, but the cynicism and sarcasm seem to obliterate any semblance of seriousness. As someone who is equally enraged by the current political system, I stand behind the anti-establishment shtick, but I just can’t tell if I am supposed to take their message—or music—seriously, due to the overplayed satire.
First impression: it’s loud, it’s heavy. The whole thing reminded me very much of Frank Zappa. And I hate Frank Zappa. Each track was predictable; heavy guitar with a distortion pedal. Although the singer had a good voice, the lyrics droned on without purpose. As an added bonus there was a liberal theme running through the music. While I don’t consider myself “political”, and I don’t believe in either party...I think people should keep their opinions to themselves.
My fellow Americans, in short, there was nothing for me here.
Hello Fat Randy, you sound new but familiar. It sounds not unlike days in high school driving around in some ambiguously shitty car littered with crushed energy drinks. The driver is a cooler upperclassman and he’s making me hold a dip spit can. Every turn is reckless, fast, and verging on deadly. It’s a fun ride but in the back of your head you keep wondering “How did I get here?” “Am I going to die?”, and “When will it be over?” (and “Does Kevin have a drinking problem?”). Somehow when it’s all said and done you’ve made it to your destination, usually a shitty K-Mart or Wendy’s...but you oddly feel compelled to get back in and ride around for another hour. That’s what it sounded like to me.