Another Round of Looney Tunes from Feo Y Loco!
— album by Feo Y Loco
Review by Robert A. Nowotny -- NeedToVent
It has been well over six years since I last reviewed a Feo Y Loco album, and while the Bilderberg Group, the Tri-Lateral Commission and the Federal Reserve System have all tried to blame the release of “POLITICALLY INCORRECT” as the cause of the global economic melt-down of 2008, I have it under good authority that there is no correlation between the two. With the brand new release of the bands’s newest album, “NO WORRIES,” it must be noted that the stock market is considerably down and the economic outlook is gloomy once again. But do not despair — just listen to the captivating "Merrie Melodies" comprising this release and you’re 401K worries will be relegated to the far reaches of your mind. Honest...
As some of you know, Houston-based Feo Y Loco has always been a band that appealed to a wide variety of musical tastes. As an example, I remember attending a Feo gig at a small burger barn one evening around ten years ago. Nearby, Anthrax was playing to a full house at a large arena. After the concert ended, many of the metalheads walked by and heard Feo Y Loco playing “Red Neck Necro.” The Anthrax crowd was stunned, with many openly making comments like “Holy hell, who are these guys — their lyrics make Anthrax sound like school kids!”
School kids, indeed.
Yes, Feo Y Loco’s broad appeal has crossed many musical boundaries, bringing joy and good cheer not only to the Trash Metal Devotees mentioned above, but to Reggae Rastafarians, to C&W Shitkickers, to Woodstock-era Hippies to Lecherous Lisa Lampanelli Lovers…well, you get the idea. Now, with the release of “NO WORRIES,” the group has expanded its repertoire to include songs that capture the crooner era of Rudy Vallee (“Big Shoes”) to the catchy bubble-gum appeal of Neil Sedaka (“Pin Up Girl”). Such diversification is rare, extremely rare, but that’s just one of many reasons to go out and buy both of these highly entertaining, unique albums.
Feo Y Loco’s newest album represents a new level of musicality and professionalism for “The World’s Most Politically Incorrect Band.” There are several reasons I say this — but let’s begin with the first-rate work of producer Guy Schwartz, a Houston legend, and engineer Roger Tausz, who have elevated the sound quality of “NO WORRIES” to a level far above previous Feo recordings. I understand most of the songs were recorded at the Franklin Nava Studio and then mixed and mastered at Bong Island Sound — clearly Houston’s recording industry can now hold its own against the likes of Nashville, Memphis and Austin. (The single exception is “Hang Up And Drive,” which was recorded live and expertly engineered by Andrew Robichaud.)
The Feo Y Loco triumvirate is not composed of Chuck Jones, Tex Avery and Mel Blanc, although the band members occasionally seem to channel the Warner Brothers animation team. No, Feo Y Loco consists of the enormously talented Lead Vocalist, Tom Beard (I used the word “enormous"
because Tom must tower 6’ 10” or more), the significantly shorter in height (but not talent) guitarist, vocalist and all-around renaissance man, David Franklin, and the mysterious guitarist, bass player and vocalist Jim Frye — the one man in Houston smart enough to keep any Jaguar running like a (zz) top. Additional vocals are provided by Shelley Burkett, Jennifer Janek and Jennifer Jordan, whose collective contribution to the album cannot be overlooked.
But wait, there’s more! “NO WORRIES” is by far the most ambitious album undertaken by Feo Y Loco with the addition of several drummers (Greg Babineux, Danny Lee and Michael Morris), Guy Schwartz on bass, keys and additional percussion, Roger Taus also on bass, and additional backup vocals by Logan Caelis Markey and Fionna Ariel Markey. Collectively, all contribute to the fullness of sound that is impressive, indeed. Oh yes, Cherry Moon (love the name) is credited with providing "French pop influences." I have no idea what this means, but with a name like Cherry Moon who cannot help but feel a little joie de vivre
As for the songs themselves, let me state that “Big Shoes” is an instant classic that would be right at home in Chicago’s Aragon Ballroom or Manhattan’s Heigh-Ho Club with lead singer Tom Beard’s melodious megaphone tone replicating the crooners of the 20s and 30s.
Not just a catchy tune, “BIG SHOES” is replete with wisdom --
“I don’t know at all about nothing, but I learned a few lessons in life
Like you never run with scissors and don’t be breakin’ mirrors
And never tell the truth to your wife”
Likewise, “Hang Up And Drive” provides a much-needed message --
“With your radiating cell phone nuking on your brain
You don’t even notice that you are drifting in my lane.”
In "Jerry Springer Kinda Guy” we are treated to a mysterious word that will surely stump scholars for years to come --
“Then she saw that blinding light for her afternoon TV
Looked in the eyes of Jerry and said ‘this man can save me’
So she wrote to the producers and then the tickets came
And they flew on off to Scramden and the limo met the plane”
?” What kind of mystic reference is this? A quick check with the local Masonic Lodge was met with bewilderment, those at the VFW Hall just responded with the thousand-yard stare, and my personal inquiry to the Paro Taktsang Monastery in Bhutan also failed to proffer any clues. Yes, Feo always has a surprise in store for us all.
Take “Pop It Out Now” as another (surprising) example. This very catchy, delightful ditty certainly is not what I expected based on the song’s title as there’s nothing about coitus interruptus or sleeping on the wet spot…just a song that is, apparently, about nothing. Seinfeld, would approve, and you will, too.
The “NO WORRIES” album, along with the “POLITICALLY CORRECT,” “EARLY FEO” and “OVERNIGHT SUCCESS” albums, can be purchased at cdbaby.com. If you are not already a Feohead, take this advice — don’t walk, run (but not with scissors!) to your trusty computer and purchase your Feo Y Loco albums today!
Th-th-th-that’s all folks!