REPOST: Earmageddon: Only In America, Volume 2

Written by Earmageddon, Music

Note: This is a post back from when I first started my website last September. I hadn’t yet started the Mellow Gold or Chart Attack! series, so I don’t think I had any regular readers…which means very few people had the joy of downloading some truly awful songs. I wasn’t going to repost, but then I thought: wait a minute, I share crappy music with these people all the time; why not lower the bar? So enjoy…or don’t!

This is all Jeff’s fault.

You see, a couple of weeks ago, I sent him Paris, the new album by Paris Hilton. I had heard a couple of tracks and didn’t think they were half bad. Jeff, however, hadn’t heard the album, wasn’t planning on hearing the album, but was forced to then hear the album after I sent it to him. Nevermind that he got a great post out of it; Jeff was prepared to exact his revenge upon me by sending me something he felt was equally shitty, and exact that revenge he did.

And so begins what will hopefully be a continuing series between myself and Jeff, and perhaps some of my other favorite bloggers: This Sucks!…Try This. You know what I’m talking about. You eat or smell something awful, and just have to share it with somebody else.

Jeff sent me Only In America: Volume 2.

AllMusic describes this album as having “some of the weirdest records of the second half of the 20 century.” But I feel like that almost does a disservice to the word “weird.” This record is fucked up. And yet, it’s a car wreck from which I cannot turn away; I eagerly listened to the entire thing.

And of course, in the spirit of This Sucks!…Try This, I now have to share some of it with you.

Where to start about Only In America: Volume 2? For starters, I wouldn’t call any of the songs “good.” Not by any stretch of the imagination. Some are bad in a nondescript way: they suck, but not enough for me to really single them out for sucking. Some are so bad, they brought a huge smile to my face; and some are so bad they border on absurd.

For example, there’s “Stinky Poodle” by Tangela Tricoli (download) which, although sung warbled from the perspective of said poodle, had to be a clear inspiration for Phoebe’s “Smelly Cat” on Friends. I’m positive the producers heard “Stinky Poodle” first. There’s “Evil Dope” by Phil Phillips (download), a drug cautionary tale sung by what sounds like Jesse Jackson on helium (“whoo! I feel good!”), and let’s just say that “Listen, Mr. Hat” by William Howard Arpaia is not what you want it to be. It definitely does not sound like something written by Trey Parker. (Maybe Matt Stone. We all know he’s the Andrew Ridgeley of South Park.)

Speaking of drugs, a lot of these songs seem to have some kind of drug theme. Some are just plain trippy, and some have a message about drugs, but I can’t tell if they’re really pro-drug or anti-drug. There’s an instrumental called “LSD ’67” which I imagine would have turned Timothy Leary straight, and conversely, a song like “Ernie The Narc” (in defense of the Narc) would drive anybody to heroin.

Only In America: Volume 2 isn’t just originals, however: there are covers, too! There’s some young school choir taking a (dreadful) stab at “Little Deuce Coupe,” and a band called Lucky Charms performing “Wipeout” as part of some radio talent showcase. If you want to hear the ultimate in covers, though, check out Lost Dimension’s take on “Purple Haze.” (download) Upon hearing this track, I couldn’t help but wonder: how the hell did they get a tape recorder in my high school drummer’s basement? (Andrew or Mike will attest: our high school band sounded just like this.)

I’ve saved my favorite track for last. “Chicago Policeman” by Harry Burgess (download) is a gem. It goes from being a song about a dream a youngster had of becoming a cop to a justification for beating the living shit out of dirty “hippies, yippies, & communists too.” The whole tune is sung quite jovially. There’s even a key change! I love it! I hate it! I love it again!

In listening to Only In America: Volume 2, I couldn’t help but think: I didn’t deserve this, Jeff. I mean, yeah, I sent you Paris Hilton, but at least Paris had Auto-Tune.

You can purchase Only In America: Volume 2 if you’d like, but I wouldn’t recommend it.