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Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
Halcyon Digest
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Fat Possum
Richard Cheese
Aperitif For Destruction
Surfdog Music

Rating: 2/10 ?

July 22, 2005
I first encountered Richard Cheese in college when my roommate stumbled across his lounge-act version of Papa Roach's "Last Resort" and made a playlist dedicated to goofy (and terrible) songs, including, but not limited to, Wesley Willis material, OMC's "How Bizarre" and Clarence Carter's disgusting "Strokin.'"

The novelty of these songs lasted longer than you'd think, and I didn't mind hearing them once in a while - they were good for a cheap laugh. With those fond memories, I threw Cheese's latest spoof in the stereo hoping to get a giggle out of it. I even didn't crack a smile.

I'm sure part of my reaction to this album has to do with being more mature, but I still laugh at poop jokes on a regular basis, so I know it's not just me. Aperitif For Destruction has a great line-up on paper: "Brass Monkey," "You Outta Know" and "Man in the Box" hit as classics, while "American Idiot" and "Let's Get it Started" bring in a contemporary flavor. All of the songs are re-done with a lounge-singer, Will-Ferrel-as-Goulet treatment, but somehow the works don't sound different enough to be humorous.

"Me So Horny" by 2 Live Crew has potential to be hilarious with its nasty lyrics, but it just makes Cheese sound like a pervert (granted, his press kit touts him as one, what with all the "dick" jokes). Taking songs out of their original context is a jarring and possibly fascinating undertaking, but Aperitif For Destruction is nothing more than a thirty-minute potty joke.

Running through all of the songs seems to be a thread of crudity in sheep's clothing. Cheese does have a pretty good lounge voice, but to hear him demand that a girl "suck his asshole, too" is foul beyond belief. You have to ask yourself, when would I ever listen to this? - and the answer would be never.

Not even the album's centerpiece, "Welcome to the Jungle," is worth a second listen. Cheese's version is far too close to the Guns N' Roses version to be silly. In contrast, the best moments (and the only worthwhile ones) happen when Cheese diverges from the original to make an interesting cover: "Sunday Bloody Sunday" is the best track on the CD because it is played mambo-style, complete with Spanglish lyrics.

The idea of popular rock and rap songs being performed as a lounge act is cute, but there is only room for failure and none for improvement. Juxtaposing dirty words with a swanky horn section will get a laugh the first time, a smile the second, and a headache from then on. Aperitif For Destruction could be worth buying if you find yourself making wacky, Yankovich-esque mix-tapes, but don't expect to be the hit of the party by spiking the soundtrack with this toxic disc.

Reviewed by Andy Brown
A regular contributor to LAS, Andy Brown lives in the frozen tundra of Minnesota, but doesn\'t think he has an accent.

See other reviews by Andy Brown



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