Photo by Tenaya HillsMARIJUANA THE BAND
SELF-RELEASED 12-TRACK CD
How do you seriously judge a band with that name, anyway? And the cast of characters! Bong Rip? Cronic Sax? Craaazy!Um, no, actually, it's not. You live as long as we have, you see this cycle come 'round enough times, then the band's pro-pot policy comes across as just so much warmed-over Kottonmouth Kings. The tunes, though, are a lot more interesting than we thought we'd get (we specially requested a copy, intrigued by the tiny ads MTB has run in the Weeklyfor about a year now; the CD was dropped off for us encased inside a baggie, natch). Envision Dave Mustaine fronting the Minutemen, and you're on the right path. Mustaine because Bong Rip—a pseudonym, ya think?—can't really sing so much as growl, and the lyrics are strictly the scribble-on-the-back-of-your-junior-high-Pee-Chee-and-call-it-poetry variety, whether Mr. Rip is indulging in themes cannabis-related ("The government is fucking with us, day by fucking day!/They take away our weed, and they make the people pay!") or . . . oh, what's it called when you want to ram your tongue between someone's butt cheeks . . . analingus? They've got one of those, too, ostensibly to prove they like fucking as well as getting fucked-up. The occasional six-minute drum solo and wanky metal maneuvering aside, we liked MTB's frequent jazzy, bass-heavy prog-rock wanderings enough to go back and listen to this CD several times—it gave us the sonic munchies, we suppose. Also liked "Marijuana the Band" (yeah, they have a song called that, too; do they also work in the Department of Redundancy Department?), which has a soulful '70s/War flow. But really, after about five spins, it started to grate on us—just like hanging out with real stoners always did back when we were going to Dead shows. But at least they have something to say. If they can remember any of it.
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