On their first studio album in over 10 years, Bobby Joe Ebola and The Children MacNuggits have really grown. Sort of. Yes, they are still singing about zombies, mental illness, pop culture, mental retardation, and killing you. But F brings a (slightly) brighter light to this Oakland-based duo’s dueling personas as underground comedic and folk/punk legacy. It’s been over 15 years since these two eccentric beings released the now cult classic At One With The Dumb, so to put it nicely, the guys are “seasoned veterans.” Or as they might call themselves, “old as fuck.”
Death, as funny as it can be, has always had a subtle nuance in the MacNuggits songs. But, as the 90’s slide further away into the dark void of time, it seems to become a central theme for the guys. It is bloody obvious throughout the entire playlist of F. Tracks like “The Crazy”, “The Only Difference”, and “Postcards From Inferno (See You In Hell)” boast this theme with incredible precision. Even the juxtaposition title of the album’s final cut “Life Is Excellence”, a chorus-line worthy ode to how we are destroying our environment and drinking our own shit, is a bit pessimistic through its joyous feel. But, instead of crying like deranged Coldplay or U2 type storytellers, these guys never lose their sense of humor and humility when it comes to writing songs that expose all the horrible truths most of us try our damndest to avoid. The guys continue to laugh their way through this world with their signature “in your face” brand of anti-chaos oriented nonconformity.
The most notable difference in the new and (pretty much) improved Bobby Joe Ebola and The Children MacNuggits, is the obvious attention to detail in the production. It’s as if they give a shit! This is not to say their heads were never pointed in a professional direction in the past. But, it seems like F shows the group growing (old as fuck, remember) into a fully fledged band that is not solely hell bent on creating a fresh form of shock value. They now seem to what to have their proverbial cake and eat it too. But, they’re still not afraid to fart at the dinner table of success, thus making them one of the finest duos in underground history.
Silver Sprocket Records [CD, 2010]
1. The Crazy
2. Pac-Man & Pop Tarts
3. The Only Difference
5. Sandwiches & Ammunition
7. Lake Of Flies
8. Waking Up Is Hard To Do
9. Sweet Shit Of Christ
10. Postcards From Inferno (See You In Hell)
11. Real Cool
12. Time Is Crawling
13. Life Is Excellent