Punky Bruster
Cooked on Phonics


3.5
great

Review

by EStreetFan USER (18 Reviews)
June 16th, 2008 | 19 replies


Release Date: 1996 | Tracklist

Review Summary: A hilariously tongue-in-cheek send-up of the pop punk explosion that, although a little too over-the-top at times, will leave you in stitches.

Following his tour with Steve Vai for the disastrous Sex & Religion album, Devin Townsend established himself as one of the busiest little beavers in the metal world. One of the first projects he embarked on was this one-off number, Punky Bruster. Written in the fallout of the pop punk explosion caused by Green Day's breakthrough Dookie, it's a deviously clever satire of the decidedly anti-punk success and sound of the genre.

The story begins with a phlegm-filled narrator introducing us to Cryptic Coroner, the death metal band that would soon morph into Punky Bruster "when they realized they were making no money." From the start, you know you're not listening to a guy who takes things seriously, but it only gets better from here. The band launches into some unintelligible blast beats before the guitarist breaks a string and the band plays punk to cover for him. From here on out the album sets itself up as a constant juxtaposition between the DYI, extreme ethos of the death metal community and our "heroes' " exploitation of a commercially friendly genre for fame. A song like "EZ$" has some of the funniest lyrics of the post-Zappa world, and Devin's vocals are impressive throughout.

While the spoken word segments can get tedious, mercifully they are placed after a song is completed on the same CD track and not dumped onto the beginning of the next, so they are easily skippable. This feature was sorely missed by the fourth playing of Ziltoid the Omniscient. Nevertheless, a lot of them are still funny to this day, and the conversations held in death metal grunts were surely an inspiration for the character Nathan Explosion from Metalocalypse. "Heinous Anus" is the one song that fails to do it for me; while the rest of the album is skewering punk, this is pure toilet humor. It was funny once or twice but it'll soon be the skipped track of the album.

The story concludes with the band winning a Grammy (described rather perfectly as the perfect blend of music and money-making) despite only being together for a few weeks, and they play a self-centered ballad for their loyal fans. However, the album isn't done yet. Skip through about ten minutes of silence to the two hidden tracks "The Girls Next Door" and "Larry's O." Why these are such an inconvenience to get to is a mystery, as they are possibly the funniest and most savage songs on the whole disc. "The Girls Next Door" in particular is genius, with lines like "If what it takes to rock/Is to suck some corporate cock/Well hey everybody, we'll be the girls next door" and the utterly brilliant "Come on down to the Bruster spend-along/Buy a t-shirt that'll make you feel like a member of an elite clique/while paying for our advertising!"

Overall, it's one of the funniest punk albums to be crafted since the heyday of the Dead Kennedys, though it's more metal than punk (obvious when you consider Devin's usual day jobs with his solo work and with Strapping Young Lad). You can only get it through his web site, but I highly recommend it to anyone who didn't get the fuss over all those sellout punk groups and even to those who did but could laugh at a good joke.

-Pros-
- Hilarious lyrics
- Catchy pop punk riffs in their own right
- Devin's powerful screams

-Cons-
- The spoken word sections can get boring after multiple listens
- "Heinous Anus" stops being funny rather quickly



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user ratings (56)
Chart.
3.5
great

Comments:Add a Comment 
SHOOTME
June 16th 2008


2393 Comments


good review, but 3 in a day is enough.

willfellmarsy
June 16th 2008


3848 Comments


Devin Townsend owns...gotta check out this album in the near future

EStreetFan
June 17th 2008


89 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Sorry about all the reviews. I was just posting ones I had already written. I didn't know to set a limit.

SHOOTME
June 17th 2008


2393 Comments


It's all right, you will grow. You cold send a one tomorrow if you like, but no more today.

jrowa001
June 17th 2008


8752 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

ive been meaning to check this out. Townsend is the man

SHOOTME
June 17th 2008


2393 Comments


Where did the neg come from?This Message Edited On 06.16.08

slep
June 17th 2008


1604 Comments


I'm not even going too lie, this looks awful.

Willie
Moderator
June 17th 2008


17609 Comments


It's awful if you're looking for anything other then an amusing gimick about a death metal band that goes punk. There are some funny lines in it, like the song "fake punk" where they yell "atrophy" and then say "I mean Anarchy" and you hear someone in the background saying "sorry"... ok maybe you have to hear it.

Edit: Sorry about the song link. When I added this band and album the song link worked. oops.This Message Edited On 06.17.08

EStreetFan
June 17th 2008


89 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Yeah, it's pretty easy to hate, I imagine. It does smack of that childish Ziltoid vibe, but this one held up a lot better, and it's been out a lot longer.

Willie
Moderator
June 17th 2008


17609 Comments


I enjoy it for the gimmick it was meant to be, but definitely can't see it as a 4.This Message Edited On 06.17.08

EStreetFan
June 17th 2008


89 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I think you might be right. Certainly above average, but not a near masterpiece. I think I'll drop it to a 3 or a 3.5.

zaruyache
March 17th 2012


19706 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I don't listen to much punk rock, but I absolutely love this.

Digging: Dakhma - Suna Kulto

ColorTheGreys
July 16th 2012


45 Comments

Album Rating: 5.0

This album is a really excellent satire, and the music is great too. Excellent review

thumbcrusher
April 5th 2013


3756 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

not sure if i'm supposed to like the song in recipe for bait but it rules



rest of the album is very entertaining too

Lambda
May 7th 2013


2654 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

For what it is, a lot of this is pretty genius. It's a little long, but man... hilarious.

DatsNotDaMetulz
May 7th 2013


3696 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

I broke a string.. uh, I mean.. EYE BROAK A STREEENNNGGGGG

amakir
October 15th 2013


29 Comments

Album Rating: 4.5

This album is quite underrated.

Dimorphic
October 14th 2015


416 Comments

Album Rating: 3.5

Fuck, I love albums like this that take the piss out of music in general.



Very similar to Crotchduster's album Big Fat Box of Shit.

RikRoach7
November 21st 2017


3458 Comments


This is nuts even by Devin's standards.

Thinking that some people had problems with the quirkiness of his Ziltoid albums ...



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