Fangboner – A Joke Gone Bad EP
Straight from the dark alleys of every bar in Cleveland comes the rock and roll band known as Fangboner. If the name isn’t a hint of the lewdness to come, then here is your warning: there is lewdness to come. Rolling high off the debut of their first EP, A Joke Gone Bad, Fangboner can only relish in the fusion of punk and rock they have created.
The EP kicks off with “Quiet Riot.” Although the song shares the name of an infamous 80’s hair-metal band, the vibe that grabs you first is one of punk rock. Even with a semi-rock lead intro, the beat quickly takes on the persona of 90’s punk with straight rolling power chords. The vocals and drums salvage what little is rock and roll about this tune, providing the listener with a sing-a-long chorus that has no doubt been screamed during many wild Ohio nights.
“If Only It Was This Easy” continues the EP’s punk vibe with similar guitar work. This time around the vocals are a little less rock, a little more punk. A cat call vocal line screams of 80s rock influence, though the words being spoken lack the attitude that was the decadence of the 1980s rock scene. Singer Sheamus Carney makes sure this is an audience-friendly song again, however, with the repetitive chant of “one night stand!” throughout the song. A hilarious line at the end of the song caps off the tune and adds a little bit of the rock’n’roll attitude that had been lacking before.
Explicit, eerie, and overall awkward, “Corpse of Chewbacca” finds a spot deservedly so in the middle of the EP. Blending into “Banana Jammin’ Your Daughter,” the obscenity only gets worse. As the song title would imply, the song is all about sexual acts with the daughter of some unfortunate father and includes an insulting dialogue between the banana jammer and the father.
Fangboner finally attains rock credibility with, surprisingly, a ballad. Tranquil acoustic guitars flow through “Sad but True,” while electric power chords in the chorus bump up this tune from a ballad to a flow blown power ballad. Poison would be proud.
Overall, the members of Fangboner lack the attitude to be true rock and rollers. As Jack Black put it in School of Rock, rock isn’t about getting laid and getting wasted (a recurring theme in the songs), it’s about sticking it to the man. Even though Fangboner has some basic punk rhythms and good ideas going on, they fail to live up to the generation of rockers before them. Regardless of their lack of edge in their heavier songs, “Sad but True” makes up for it and is a great song to listen to over and over again.
If getting wasted, scoring women, and perhaps lamenting about them later, however, is your thing… A Joke Gone Bad is your new life soundtrack.