The Joup Friday Album: The Blue Meanies – Full Throttle

Full throttleHey! It’s Friday and you know what that means? Yep – welcome to another edition of The Joup Friday Album.

First, many thanks to Tommy for passing the torch my way and in no way sir should you feel the need to apologize for pulling me away from my novel. It’s always a pleasure to get called upon for selecting the week’s album and this week I’m especially excited because I’m finally posting an album I’ve been wanting to post for months now.

Circa early/mid 90’s my good friend Mr. Brown introduced me to The Blue Meanies’ album Kiss Your Ass Goodbye. The Meanies’ caustic blend of punk, ska, metal and polka immediately made a huge impression on me, in no small part because of the speed and dexterity with which they fused these parts into a stream-lined and aggressively beautiful whole. Unlike almost every other ska band in existence (except for the wonderful Hot Stove Jimmy) The Meanies’ had a unique sound that was ONLY the Meanies. No one else sounded anything like these guys and I’d go as far as to say they were peers to only one other band I knew of – Mr. Bungle (first album only but still).So yeah, Brown, our friend Sonny D. and I would go out, pre-21, get loaded on bottomless carafe’s of coffee at the local IHOP and then tool around Chicago’s southside listening to Kiss Your Ass goodbye. And because The Meanies’ music began to impact our lives so directly  I can remember the exact day the follow-up to Kiss Your Ass Goodbye came out. Because if Kiss Your Ass was fast, Full Throttle was a weekend spent blowing rails with Gary Busey. This was no pot of coffee, this was full-out amphetamine-flavored insanity.

From the about eleven seconds after Fourth of July opens the album things go out the window. And if you think the band won’t be able to keep that kind of speed up Smash the Magnavox dials it up times ten! Listen to that opening bass line – Holy guacamole. It just doesn’t seem humanly possible.

Like all genres, the 90’s briefly touted ‘ska’ scene was mostly about replication and repetition; a lot of groups working to achieve the parameters of a sound so they too could fit in and appeal to the followers of said scene. However, also like all genres there are those bands that came up inside the scene and completely obliterated it from the inside out. That was The Blue Meanies for sure, and Full Throttle stands as, in my mind, their ultimate fuck you to anyone who wanted to lump them into any easy categorization.

If you dig this, buy it.

Chester – I pass the torch to you my friend!

Shawn C Baker

Shawn C Baker

Shawn lives in Los Angeles where he co-hosts Drinking w/ Comics, writes screenplays and fiction and has been known to drink quite a bit of beer. Good beer.

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