Sunday, August 31, 2008

SONG: "Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo" - The Bloodhound Gang (Hefty Fine, 2005)

Despite having been an unapologetic proponent of The Bloodhound Gang’s breakthrough LP Hooray for Boobies back in the day, I was surprised to hear this song for the first time just recently while skim-watching an MTV rundown of The 100 Greatest Dumb-Ass Videos. I suspect its lack of exposure as a single was partly due to its harmless but thinly-veiled smut ratio (a fact that predictably led to its unilateral banning across US commercial radio), and partly the fact that its parent album features the decidedly unappetising image of a naked fat bloke on the cover.

As a song, there’s really nothing to it. As the title suggests, the entire thing is basically just a series of barely-coded shagging metaphors, including such masterful couplets as “Marinate the nether rod in the squish mitten / Power-drill the yippee bog with the dude piston”. Dig a bit deeper, however (stay with me here), and there’s actually more to be had from the band than a cheap kick and the occasional smirk.

At the risk of stooping to one of their own awful puns, you can take The Bloodhound Gang one of two ways. On the one hand, they’re the ultimate musical throwaway, a funny-the-first-time amalgamation of every reason why American culture will never ascend beyond the level of pie-fucking and Rob Schneider. However, I prefer to take their oft-stated motto of “No reason to live but we like it that way” as an artistic manifesto of sorts. Rather than simply being content to scrape the bottom of the barrel à la cosmetically similar frat-rap bozos Hot Action Cop and Limp Bizkit, the band’s penchant for witty wordplay and knowingly childish visual antics (the video for this song is an absolute hoot) make them America’s premier practitioners of a peculiarly prescient strain of blank-faced Gen-X dropout humour. Their wilful nihilism is there for all to see in their unending preoccupation with sex, mooching and pop culture, all delivered in frontman and chief creative architect Jimmy Pop’s unblinking monotone. As his knack for a pithy reference attests (“Why try? I’m that guy / Holden Caulfield from Catcher in the Rye”, he spits on the smartly-titled Magna Cum Nada), it’s not that the boy can’t write – he just chooses not to. Indeed, beneath the gratuitous smut there’s also quite a sweet little tune here. I reckon there’s something to be said for the gleeful sense of sheer pointlessness exuded by their “art”.

Then again, it could just be a bunch of elaborate knob gags.