One develops a special sort of affinity for Partman Parthorse once they’ve experienced their live performance. This is hardly a statement to take lightly; frankly put, watching Partman Parthorse perform for the first time is equatable to loosing your virginity or experiencing the stage performance of Rocky Horror Picture Show for the first time. There is a special part of you that is lost forever and, as much as it saddens you that the next time will not be the first, you’re definitely looking forward to that next time.
That being said, experiencing Year Of The Jerk through headphones is a pale comparison to watching Gary Smith, the eccentric front-man of Partman Parthorse, trod across stage only wearing overly tight 70s short shorts and moaning Take a ride on my stash little boy / Take a ride on my stash / Come sit on my stash little man / Take a ride on my stash.
There’s a certain sexual ambiguity that comes along with experiencing Year Of The Jerk, and, live, the experience is similar, only filled with sweat and beer and saliva; there’s enough pent up sexuality here to send the most homophobic individual into homoerotic orgasms. It’s an excitement that doesn’t end with the show – as you can see, I’m having a hard time containing myself, easily resorting to the nostalgia of the three times I’ve witnessed the live genius that is Partman Parthorse.
Year Of The Jerk continues where Partman Parthorse’s self-titled debut left off. It’s just as sexual, if not more so, and it again hints of early art rock made modern. Songs like “Magik – —-” and “You Can’t Fade The PMPH” quickly demonstrate the group’s ability to create a sound that mixes lust and terror, art and eclecticism. Yet it’s countered nicely with dissonant tracks like “At The Mall” and “Mr. Frontman”. Further tunes, namely “Significant Bummer” and “Stash”, excel in their own right.
As a whole, what should you make of Year Of The Jerk? Well, it is one of the more unique records you’ll hear, but it’s one that holds a special place in my heart. I can only hope that the same will be true for you.
Above photo also by Fense.
2. At The Mall
3. Magik – —-
4. You Can’t Fade The PMPH
5. Mr. Frontman
6. Significant Bummer
7. I’m A Book
8. Shit Hot
9. Not Right Now