The Self-Titled Debut Album
Record Review by Kevan Peterson
Sadly, The Fresh sound a bit stale. The humor on the opening tracks “Blueballs” and “Man Crush” feels sophomoric. If you consider lighting your farts on fire a valid use of your free time, then you may continue to laugh at these jokes after more than just one listen. The first half of the album feels a bit dated, as if this band may have written these songs at a time when Barenaked Ladies and Hootie and the Blowfish ruled the airwaves. I got more laughs out of Travis’ heartfelt rendition of “...Baby, One More Time” than I was able to squeeze from the majority of these tracks. The Fresh lack the absurdity of humorous lyrics and great beats found in The Lonely Island’s work or the quirky humor of, say, an early Weird Al. Instead The Fresh walk a line between standard rock beats and sometimes unimaginative lyrics. The best tongue in cheek joke is written on the album cover.
Their music is solid, however. “Man Crush” has a beat you want to rock out to, but you may be hesitant to pump up the volume, given the lyrical content. As the album progresses, the humor gives way to the music. Funny lines become more and more sparse, as some tracks work more on catchy grooves and tight instrumental work. The Fresh are able to play a variety of styles, but none of them seem to be uniquely their own. “Unicorn’s Horn” sounds like Tenacious D, even down to the vocal styling. That gives way to the last few tracks sounding a bit like Maroon 5 and ending on the upbeat, harmonic “Save the World” which, if you’re not careful, may sound like it was not meant to be funny at all.
Comedy is a hard business and music isn’t much easier. So, it can be problematic to try and tackle both at once. The Fresh seem to have more musical talent than witty chops. I’m sure that these guys are great live and probably put on a very funny show. However, listening to a recording of opening number “Blueballs” more than once feels unnecessary. Certain lyrics, such as “I’ve got your panties off/And I’m halfway in/You get a call/From one of your friends/All of a sudden I’m shit out of luck/Girl, you know I only came to fuck,” may be much funnier when the person saying them is actually seen and not just heard.
More by this writer:
Dark Was The Night (Various Artists)