Johnny Robot And The Automatons

Bribery Review #6 Or Whatever

Johnny Robot And The Automatons – Homemade.
Rating = 5

The "Bribery Review" is something I developed to fulfill an important need. You send me $4 and your shittyass tape or CD, and I send you one of my incredibly innovative CDs and review your piece of garbage that you should be ashamed to put your name on. Everybody wins. I win because I get to spread the gospel of my brilliant artistic achievement to those who may have been prevented from hearing it due to silly constraints such as "lack of distribution" and "no interested labels." The briber wins because they suddenly have the world famous music critic Chuck Eddy reviewing their work and telling everybody how fantastic it is when it really isn't. And the readers win because.

Mr. Johnny Robot knew what he was doing when he sent me this cassette. I happened to receive it in the mail when I was drunk off my ass, and imagine my glee when I discovered that the tape cover features a photo of a naked young woman spreading her legs to show me her special place. After removing a substance from my phallus, I sat down to listen to the audio cassette tape.

Every once in a while, one runs across a musical outfit so incompetent that their appeal is undeniably undeniable. This is one of those projects. It's unclear whether it's one guy or three guys who've never played together in their life, but the tape is just busting lose with weirdly out of tune singing, scraggly guitar and drumbeats that completely lose their place, speed up, slow down or simply stop in the middle of a line. But that's the appeal! Much like Flipper, these guys (or guy) thrives on drunken-sounding sloppiness. The actual recording is muffled and off-kilter, and the songs run the gamut from punk rock to '60s-style goth to guitar pop to midtempo messy rock shit that just NEVER ends. To give some indication of how "everywhere" and "nowhere" at the same time this combo is, they do straight covers of both The Misfits' "Hollywood Babylon" and…well… "Wild Thing."

"Wild Thing."

How do you forgive somebody for covering "Wild Thing"? After Sam Kinison has already recorded the definitive version? Anyway, the singer himself is also an odd bird – his voice is very full and rich like an adult, but it seems to sway into and out of the actual melody like a masculine eel with sideburns weaving in and out of the sea anemones of rock and roll. Odd.

The tape features a live side and a studio side. I actually really like the studio side – as amateurish as the band is, the music is really fun, odd, interesting and usually catchy and punkish (if not the most innovative in the world). The live side is atrocious though, with only one good track. The rest just drags and drags and bores and noises you all to heck. I give the studio side a 7 and the live side a 3. Put 'em together and you get a 73!

But what was up with that guy at the dog run tonight? "Water or Pussy"? Jesus Christ.

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