Playdoh Squad Mutate (Animatronic)
Reviewed by Greg Beets, Fri., April 14, 2000
Mutate (Animatronic)Just try not to bob your head to the Playdoh Squad's debut CD. This quirked-out Austin quartet implicitly understands the virtues of infusing their guy's-guy rock aspirations with big-booty bounce. Steve Austin's all-meat drumming on tunes like "Girl," "She Spins," and "Satan's Legs" are models of dance-floor consistency. If that's not enough, you also have the ultra-charismatic vocalist Lance Fever (Gal's Panic) belting out devil-in-the-pants-style lyrical wisdom in a manner that belies his diminutive frame. When he's not singing about sin and lust, Fever takes the guns-in-schools problem to its logical conclusion with "Nuke Youth." Non-bullies everywhere (not to mention Matthew Broderick fans) will relish such sentiments as "Just step off my eighth-grade ass or I'll bring it down to Defcon 1." Later, the Squad's New Wave angles come into play on the Devo-informed "Big Hamburger (Will Fall)." Some of Mutate's tracks feature middle sections that veer off into free-form freak-out territory, but just when the band is about to reach terminal noodling velocity, Austin comes back in with that irresistible bounce. This is just the right noise ordinance-flouting sound for the approaching backyard keg-party season.