Friday, 30 March 2012

Is this meant to be funny? Already we’re off to a bad start, but this is a bizarre formula. “Discoteque Tranny” translates to what I can assume to be ‘Tranny Disco’, as in ‘Transsexual Disco’. So is the emphasis on undercut teenage humour? The kind of stuff Bloodhound Gang grew famous (or infamous) for in the late 90s, with the release of “Hooray for Boobies”? Sorry for the puzzlement, but it goes a long way in explaining just how a bands identity, built through album promo, press release notes, art, and a no-less spectacular name, Hayley’s Royal Whores, can get far and away lost in music, which lo and behold, isn’t even teetering on the edge of laughter.

For weight of argument, comedy, and especially rock music, isn’t necessarily easy to pull off. Even Devin Townsend recently wrote about the humour littered across his multitude of work, that it was something he would be looking to “avoid” because it “didn’t have the desired effect” in the context of his metal. Not that Hayley’s Royal Whores are a metal band by any stretch of the imagination, nor do they have the kind of production tools behind them which Mr Townsend employs, but it demonstrates a gravitas to the problems comedy and rock based music usually wrestle with. Tim Minchin can do it with a piano, Bill Bailey with the Theremin, Tenacious D in the rock opera sphere, but bare boned rock comedy? It’s a dead art.

So if this isn’t funny, what’s it got going for it? Not much. It’s an album written in a pop-rock sensibility, residing with the likes Blink 182, Weezer, and Bloodhound Gang. The bands previous efforts came by way of goth rock projects, and it’s easy to hear passages laden in synth work, The Birthday Massacre would be proud of. The vocal throughout is weak, and under-performed, along with the records production being precariously flat, for a band that seek to move you enough to laugh. Perhaps “Discoteque Tranny’s” B-lined, B movie construction is part of the gag.

You’re left wondering if the joke’s on the critic? Their surnames have even been altered with comedic intentions (let’s see if you laugh): Pasi ‘Crash’, Teukka Von ‘Terror’, Teme ‘Schnaps’, and Kuha ‘Spears’. I’ll hold my hands up. I really don’t get it.

3/10 Powerplay issue #142

Posted by Posted by Andy at 11:02 am
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