Hail, hail…the (Bloodhound) Gang’s all here

Nancy Hall

Returning to the music scene with their fourth album “Hefty Fine,” Bloodhound Gang proves yet again that they have the ability to leave their mark on current music trends while making no effort to be taken seriously.

Blending hip-hop lyrical styles with pop rock beats, this nine-year-old band gained national recognition upon the release of their third album “Hooray for Boobies” and the success of the painfully catchy “Bad Touch.” Their latest endeavor shares a similar sexual innuendo that makes their sound instantly recognizable.

The first single released from the album, “Foxtrot Uniform Charlie Kilo,” is a series of nonsensical euphemisms that refer to the expletive title spelled out in phonetic alphabet similar to that used by armed forces. The music video, featuring Bam Margera of “Jackass” fame, furthers the lyrical suggestions.

All of the songs contain a unique agenda for the band, whether it is to continue sexual connotations in “Balls Out,” to compare societal intelligence to that of a “Simpsons” character in “Ralph Wiggum.” With “Pennsylvania,” the band calls to mind some of the ridiculous fads that have plagued American pop culture throughout the years, mentioning Screech from “Saved by the Bell,” Puck from MTV’s “Real World” and Shemp from “The Three Stooges.” In one of the most interesting of these lines, the band says that they “are the mustaches the Beatles grew when they dropped acid.” They are comparing themselves to these images, perhaps recognizing that they, too, will be in a similar list one day with things that were nothing more than a passing joke.

The music behind these lyrics shows a diversity that might serve to give the Gang more credibility than they perhaps aspired for. “Balls Out” sounds more metal than pop, reminiscent of Disturbed, while “Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss Uhn Tiss” is a techno song that does capture some of the energy from “Bad Touch.”

“Something Diabolical” is darker in tone of both lyrics and sound than any of the other songs on the album. This song stands out due to the soulful voice of guest artist Ville Valo, frontman of the Finnish metal band HIM.

Valo’s haunting chorus pulls listeners in, and Jimmy Pop delivers his usual slow rap lyrics in a softer, more deliberate manner so as to continue the eerie, evocative feel of the song. It is refreshing to hear the band work on something of substance, and this is by far the find on the album.

On the whole, the album provides comic relief intermingled with quality musical abilities and incredible shock value. It would not be surprising to see Bloodhound Gang regain some of its fame through the release of several singles from this album.

Give these tracks a second listen: “Something Diabolical”and “Pennsylvania”

Our rating: Four stars out of five.