The Austin Chronicle

Bob Schneider

June 5, 1998, Music

Boom Boom Baby (Capricorn)

Freebird (Shockorama)

By releasing two albums at the same time, Bob Schneider is engaging that mysteriously powerful force that sent Axl Rose back into oblivion and Bruce Springsteen back to Nebraska. The difference: Schneider has done it under two different names, the Scabs and the Ugly Americans, and two different sets of vocabulary, one really fucking crude and the other merely suggestive. It's not all Schneider, however, from Latin lounge ("The Wrong Direction") to hick shuffle ("Pudding and Cheese") or straight Aerosmith ("Fastest Man Alive"), the band (and it's just the same band under two different names) shows good range on both the Ugly's Boom Boom Baby and the Scabs' Freebird. Nevertheless, anyone who's seen either band knows that Schneider is the star frontman with charisma to burn. Too bad his foul mouth is so fucking boring, then. Really, anyone over the age of 14 is going to find song titles like "Big Butts & Blow Jobs," "Baby Put Your Panties On," and "I Fucked Your Daughter in the Ass, Boy" as shocking as spackle. The real irony is that Freebird, where Schneider's left to curse indiscriminately, is really a shit-hot live recording with absolutely infectious horns throughout, while Boom Boom Baby, where Schneider tones down the language, is too flat in too many spots. Any asshole can say "fuck" and "pussy" for 72 minutes plus, but it takes a certain amount of talent to do it. And Schneider can; Boom Boom Baby's "Orlando" is a supremely crafted pop groove and a genius homage to underachievement. If only there were more of those, songs that take the "c" out of the f-word and replace it with an "n."
(Boom Boom Baby) 2.5 Stars
(Freebird) 3.0 Stars
- Michael Bertin

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