Deliberately offensive and obsessed with an unusual body part (the brain, of course!), Angry Samoans leave me pretty non-plussed, at least on this first effort. They’re obnoxious and mean-spirited without being funny, and their music isn’t all that creative, either. I mean, the best song here, “Carson Girls,” lifts its melody straight from Bob Seger’s “Rock n’ Roll Never Forgets,” a better song to boot. These repetitive songs do have a raw energy going for them, and moderately catchy choruses mark “Right Side Of My Brain” (included twice), “Inside My Brain,” and “Too Animalistic.” But if these guys are obviously inspired by punk’s “anybody can do it” credo, more often than not they’re also living proof that not everybody can do it well.
Back From Samoa (Triple X ‘82) Rating: B+
This second installment was a big improvement on their debut, as was their remake of “My Old Man’s A Fatso.” First of all, these 14 often-obscene songs are incredibly short (about a minute each), so they’re never boring, unlike a surprisingly large portion of Inside My Brain. For this same reason, they’re never transcendent, either - not that these guys ever could be. Secondly, the playing is much more muscular, the traded off vocals are an improvement in strategy, and these truly tasteless songs are sometimes funny this time out. Of course, even the best jokes are less humorous the second time around, and many would be listeners will have problems with their homophobic and anti-Semitic sentiments, no matter how tongue in cheek. But are they even tongue in cheek? Tough to tell - they sure sound like sickos on songs such as “Ballad Of Jerry Curlan,” but at least they sound more musical this time out. For example, I like the way they rearrange the Chambers Brothers’ “Time Has Come Today,” while “Lights Out” and “Not Of This Earth” are pretty darn catchy, and “They Saved Hitler’s Cock” had me laughing out loud like Beavis and Butthead. Man, I just don’t know what to make of these guys. I don’t usually like joke songs or super short songs, and I definitely don’t like mean-spirited a-holes, but for 17 minutes these a-holes rock rather impressively here.
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