Review Summary: Rock'n roll is never as funny, as when it's done by The Presidents of the United States of AmericaPure Frosting
is a compilation album by The Presidents of the United States of America
, and was to be the band's last album (they later re-formed, but that's another story). This album is packed with (welcome) unreleased rarities.
This may at first look like a worthless, money-grabbing album, where they've just thrown together whatever suitable of releasing. It has two cover tunes and two live songs. But is it a worthless, money-grabbing album? It may be money-grabbing for all I know. But it indeed isn't worthless. It's actually quite good. Just like its predecessors (namely The Presidents of the United States of America
). It's quirky, funny, clever and just very entertaining. 'Cause that's all The Presidents are about. Entertaining. They are the least serious band you'll ever encounter. People have always been insinuating that The Presidents' songs have more to them than they are willing to admit. E.G. people have been insinuating that the song "Peaches" is actually an anti-capitalistic statement. Ballew responded "What? I was just high on recreational-drugs when I wrote it... and I was outside this girl's house... and there was a peach tree". That should accurately describe just how deep The Presidents' lyrics are.
As for the music - it's rock'n roll for all your money's worth. And rock'n roll's never been this funny. They aren't all about rebelling, and/or preaching. They are all about fun fun fun. They just wanna show the world how fun rock'n roll can be - and at times, should be.
But despite coming off as an a bit "ordinary" grungy poppy rock'n roll band - they're not. They are actually quite skillful. Jason Finn owns his "no-string drums" (especially on the "DRUM SOLO, DRUM SOLO!""
" found on "Back Porch (live)"), whilst Dave Dederer and Chris Ballew plays high-quality, creative riffs. Dave with his "three-string guitbass" and Chris with his "two-string basitar".
They are actually maybe even more known for their rather unique instruments, than they are for their music.
Jason Finn plays the "no-string drums". Ballew and Dederer respectively play, as mentioned, a "two-string basitar" and a "three-string guitbass". These instruments are regular six-string guitares modified to use two or three strings.
They use heavy-gauge strings for a heavier sound, and play in C#.
Despite having only zero, two and three strings to work with, they have an impressing, broad sound. They are all quite underrated, musical-technically.
Now let's talk a bit about the songs. I'll start out with the covers.
"Video Killed the Radio Star", originally by The Buggles
, is also avaiable on The Wedding Singer OST
. This is the third version of the song that they have released (they originally released a live version as a b-side, and they released a different studio version on the Japan-exclusive album Rarities
It's a great track. And it really kicks some Buggles' butt, in my opinion. You gotta love how you can just feel the energy and the fun of this song. Musically, it's great. Catchy as hell, and tight as Jim Morrison
's leather pants. And what a hilarious falsetto - or whatever it may be called, Chris Ballew produces right here on this track.
The other cover is of Ian Hunter
. The track is the classic - "Cleveland Rocks". You just might have heard this song many, many times before. It was the theme song to The Drew Carey Show
. But even if you've already heard it, you won't be sad to hear it again. They somehow seem to make this song rock even harder than Mr. Hunter did. And that's saying a lot. They're just more fun. Fun fun fun, remember?
Other than those two cover tunes, there's an impressing tracklist here. Catchier and funnier than most tracklists you'll ever see on an album. From the tales of being a teenager on "Teenage Girl", to the Japan-homage "Japan" - it's all catchyness and funnyness 2k x 4. It would be pointless reviewing them all, 'cause they're all equally fun and catchy. With the exceptions of "Tiki Lounge God", where they serve a slowed-down version of the "Tiki God" from II
. It kind'a breaks the style... but that ain't a bad thing at all; and "Sunshine", which is a real campfire song with acoustic guitars and stuff. Who's got the marsmellows? "You're the one/you're the sunshine/you're the one
"... And "Tremolo Blooz", where they do a hilarious blues-parody. It includes both the infamous puffy little shoes, and the legendary froggy. Come to think of it, the album is indeed quite varied.
The only "negative" thing I have to say about this is, it might be a bit too much of the same. The songs might sound a bit too alike. And it is true, to some extent, that they all have the same "sound" to them. But dammit, they recycle well!
The album is also a bit short... but who cares, when it's as good as it is?
You'll definitely wanna put this album on repeat for, say - 36 straight hours. Ok, maybe not 36 straight hours. But you will not regretting buying this. Or listening to it. It's just a great, entertaining album.