Ben's Review

 

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OK, so there's only one review...

My reviews are based on how a song compares to the PUSA version, i.e. does it do justice, and also gives points for adding something a little new and extra to the song.... as long as its cool.  Songs are rated on a scale from 0 to 10.  In my system, a 5 is a good score. Everything above it is better, everything below is worse.  Also taken into account is that this is a fan made album, meaning you need to understand the whole point of why this album was made as you listen.

Lets get straight and to the Point:

1)  Ladies and Gentlemen Part I (The Cool Lee Iceberg Tribute Cushing Accordion Band):
    OK, this is a pretty good song to start off the album, but I seriously wanted to skip past it only 10 seconds into the song.  My ears were cringing at the terrible chords that remind me of when my 5 year old cousin used to "play" my piano.  Ugh.  Not to mention the lead singer sounds like "the doc, Doug Podell" (lets see how many of you pick up on that!)  There is some harmonizing in the back with an annoyingly high pitched whine.  Lovely.  When comparing to the original, I can not ROCK to this song now matter how much they tell me.  To give it a fair chance I listened to it 2 more times, and I suppose you have to appreciate this song for what it is;  a fan produced tribute to the greatest, and my favorite, band of all time.  With that in mind any score can be raised, so I decide the always humorous accordion gives this song some value.


3.0

2)  Kitty (The Vice-Presidents of the United States of America)
    Wow!  What a difference a song makes!  No Hiss, great quality, sounds just like PUSA instruments.  Very professional sounding.  The bass line is tweaked just slightly to make it rock a bit harder.  The meowing is nice and playful, very entertaining.  The lyrics are unchanged and perfected.  Very much like the original, except obviously for the vocals.  The singing is definitely enjoyable though, but I can't tell if the lead has an English accent or what.  Whatever it is, I liked it and thought this is one of the Best Covers ever done.  My only gripe may be to build up on cussing out the Kitty a little more.

10.0


3)  Japan (Slaps Accelerator)
    
Nice little song this one is.  What immediately hits you, are the lead female vocals.  Takes a little getting used to, but it's pretty cool.  This band does a very nice job capturing this song.  I can sense some real energy in a couple of the members with their "wahoos, woos, kick-its, and of course Hi-yaaaaaa."  It sound like there is just one guitar player, but all the chords are nailed, with a few personal twists here and there.  As the song repeats "when we hit Japan" so many times, I was kind of sad there wasn't really any changing of melody and harmonizing, but it is soon forgotten as we rock out till fade out.  I'm glad the wahoos where still intact too!

7.5

4)  Naked & Famous (Angry Naked Cow Instrumental Mix)  (Poingly)
    As you probably guessed, this one's got no words.  Probably done on a computer.  Kind of like a MIDI file maybe.  ALL the key riffs of the song are covered, and repeated and repeated and repeated....  The song goes a whole 5:28  At around the 5 minute point, the mooing begins, hence the angry naked cow I suppose?  Computerized music isn't my thing, but It's a really great interpretation of this song.  You can't really sing along to it, but you could probably work out to it.  I dunno, I suppose you either like this one or you don't.

6.0


5)  Twig (Porn Wah Extended Reverb Funboy Live Mix) (3 of FOG)
    As cheesy as I thought it was gonna be, I really like the Porn Wah Wah sounds flaunting throughout the song.  Its a really fun touch added to an awesome song.  After an elongated intro, that beautiful bass line comes pummeling through, nice and slow.  A little while later, the vocals start.  They are pretty good, but a bunch of times It seemed like he was messing up on the words, or he got cut off or something.  At the bridge this band really shines, as they get this funkadelic groove thing going that really blows your mind.  Nice and long too.  "ONE MORE TIME"  Back to the chorus, and we are on are way out to the end of the song, which it tries to do about three or four times.  I guess it was distracted by some lunatic yelling about "Sister Marie Elephant" among other things......  Oooooooooooookkkkkkkkkay.  That was interesting.  Overall, a job well done.

8.5

6)  Presidents I Will Miss You  (Green Cheese)
    The first original song on the album, and it kicks ass!  Very simple bass line that could easily get stuck in your head.  No drums, and I think a bass guitar in the back.  The vocals are very humorous, and very true.  You'll be singing along in no time.  He reminds me of Ballew with this song by taking such a simple tune, and mixing up the melody ever so slightly to keep your interest.  Its a real winner, a mover, and a groover.  Great Job!

9.0


7)  Back Porch  (Shane Speal & The Prosthetic Hipsters)
    If PUSA ever played at a Hoe Down, it would no doubt sound something like this.  Imagine the band in "Back to the Future III" with a couple cigar box guitars and you'll have an idea what this sounds like.  This song has always been about having a good time, and this band portrays it beautifully.  I liked how there were a bunch of people singing together the whole time.  And the interlude nonsense rambling is really enjoyable.  The instrumental rock out part was scrapped, and no extra drumming for "chicky on the drums"  Oh well, I still liked it.

7.5

 

8)  Peaches (The Dingbats)  
    Sounds like a one-man show at first, but someone seems to join in later.  The whole song is very soft, unfortunately, and kind of has a lot of hiss.  The song actually is sung more as a folk song, and kind of loses its rock edge without any long and heavy chords.  After the "LOOK OUT" part is a special goodbye message to (guess who) the presidents.  Take it away Dave.... Who I'm assuming is one of the dingbats and not Dederer.  Anyhow, that famous chorus gets sung one more time, and the song is done.

5.0


9) Volcano (Sulphur Oxide Mixdown)  (Game Program)
    This is a very cool cover song.  Surprisingly it's a computer made instrumental song, and it's awesome.  Volcano was perhaps my favorite song from II, so it's surprising to me that I like this cover despite sounding very different than the PUSA original.  In fact, I bet if someone had played it for me, I would never have been able to make a connection between the two.  But don't get me wrong, this song is very worthwhile.  It's very peaceful, not much like a volcano.  It kind of reminds of a song from a video game (Donkey Kong Country, the Ice Stage)  and for some reason I was also thinking of In the Hall of the Mountain King.  I don't really know why, this song just gives me this whole Ice Cave type image.  I had to struggle, but I eventually recognized definite riffs from volcano, and they are synthesized and arranged superbly.  Top Notch song.  I think I could hear something mumbled into the microphone at the beginning and end, but all I could definitely make out was "thank you."

10.0


10)  So There (The Artist Currently Known As Turkeyboy)
    Yup, another original song.  Well, its only got about four chords in this song, but this song really shines in the lyrics.  Turkeyboy shows his acclaim for The Presidents by complimenting all three.  It was also enjoyable to hear good usage of the PUSA vocabulary spread about the song.  Very simple words, that definitely resonate with The Presidents sense of humor. (Chris why don't you grow some Hair! Ha!)  Each verse is capped off with a chorus of So There x4.  While not quite as catchy as "Presidents We Will Miss You", It's definitely a good tribute song.  At one point So-There becomes So-lo, and Turkeyboy entertains your ears with a lovely rendition of the meow mix theme.  Great stuff.

7.0


11)  Tiki God (live)  (Insane Ian & Crotch)
  
  Finally something to rock out to!  I always loved the drums for this song, and it retains its dominant presence felt in this cover.  Lots of fills and fast, crazy beats.  Excellent!  The Guitar has got an awesome sound to it, but it is way too soft.  It should have been closer to the mic, so I could experience its flowing power.  The vocals are pretty clear, and dead on.  You just want to sing along by the time you're at "naaa na-na naa naaa na."  Good band + Good song = Good time.  Afterwards, Ian reminds everyone this song was by The Presidents, and his wild crowd of 2 or 3 cheers and applauds.

8.5


12)  Lump (live)  (FOG)
    Second one up from FOG, lets see if they can do justice to the Big Hit.  I like the vocals better than "Twig", the instruments got things taken care of pretty good as well.  Boy does this band take "everybody solo" seriously!  It gets a little hectic, but its all good.  Nothing that new or different however in this, but a solid PUSA cover none-the-less.

7.0


13)  Sunshine (Punk Version)  (Bereft)
 
   OH MAN!  This song is unbelievable!  I am soooooooo tempted to say The Presidents should have recorded it this way.  Bereft has taken this song to a new level.  It's totally recognizable, but it's punk.  Another song sung with an English accent, that is both hilarious and really cool.  It's not that English accents are funny, but it's putting it in context with a song I've only heard by The Presidents.  Lots of energy and feeling, make this a great cover with lots of originality and personality on a classic Presidents song.  I'm just gonna have to whip out Pure Frosting again.

9.0


14)  Wake Up (Mono Glory)  (Static Box)
    There are a lot of Presidents songs that I can just listen to, and every single second of the song is pure bliss.  It's like they have found the perfect combination of notes and chords that just strike you in the head non-stop the entire song.  There is no other word to accurately describe it than perfection.  To me, Wake Up is one of those songs.  There is not one part I don't like, not one part I think is kinda bad, not one part I think is pretty good.  The whole song is amazing from start to finish.  Now that I've built that up a bit, Let me say Wake Up (Mono Glory) is my Favorite Song on this album, but not just for covering such an amazing song.  After all, there were a lot of amazing songs covered on this album.  This song just reached out to me, rejuvenating everything in me I like about the PUSA version.  When I hear him yell out "Ooooooh Laa la la" I can just see him totally immersed into the music and the moment.  Its an awesome feeling.  The instrumental solo is preserved wonderfully, as is the entire song.  Incredible layering of bass and guitar riffs.  The ONLY downfall to this one is that its Mono!  Do not listen to this song through headphones.  In fact, this whole album to me sounds better without headphones (I tried both).  In case you have not been able to tell already, this track is my PICK OF THE ALBUM!

10.0

 
15)  Ladies and Gentlemen Part III  (The Cool Lee Iceberg Tribute Cushing Accordion Band)
    I think Chris Ballew summed it all up nicely in Kill the Cake when he said "something so perfect shouldn't go on to damn long."  This is the exactly the same as track 1, but with updated lyrics.  "Goodbye to three great gentleman, and even though they are gone,  well now ladies and gentleman, they'll live on, rock on, live on, rock on.  Believe me you are reading this in your head better than it sounds.  In fact, the lyrics are the only redeeming factor to this song.  At the end they applaud The Presidents, all two of them.  Oh well.

1.0


*Bonus Track*  Born in Bellevue, Basketball Dreams/Magic  (Evil Petting Zoo)
    If you can somehow make it all the way through 15 without turning it off, the hiss comes back on and a new band picks up with two more songs.  At first it sounds like the same band as tracks 1 & 15, but these songs are actually pretty good.  Born in Bellevue has some actual singing!  And in the same key this time!  Are you going to the PUSA concert, going to the PUSA show!  Next they transition into a cover of the hidden track from the second Presidents album.  This is actually pretty funny, complete with whispering and the same background tune.  The funny part is that it's not a little kid who needs help knowing what to say.  Good enough to get a decent score from me!

5.5


Overall, this is a really cool CD.  There are some very good songs on here, but more importantly, I feel this CD was a great way to pay tribute to a band that's so special to so many of us.  Obviously it is us who this CD will appeal to, and that's good because that is who it is for, as well as The Presidents.  I hope Chris, Dave and Jason all realize how amazing we think they are, and that we will continue to support them and their music forever.


The combined average of ratings for all 16 tracks was  7.15625  And I know you were all curious out to five decimal places.


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Reviewed by
Ben Gurner