Review by Josh Svetz
RIYL: They Might Be Giants, Ween, Barenaked Ladies
Recommended Tracks: “Damnit Dan, Get Off of That Horse,” “Let’s Not Backtrack,” “Cin’ Toast Crunch”
When you’re given a CD with the words Butt Montana on the cover, it’s tough to predict exactly what you’re going to get. Boy did I get an interesting record. Comparisons are tough when it comes to this group, but I’d say if Tim & Eric decided to form a band, that’s Butt Montana. From straight rock instrumentals like “A World of Pastabilities” to electronic oddness in “Let’s Video Game Together,” Butt Montana provides lots of variety on their debut album.
However, variety does not necessarily mean greatness, as the album is hit or miss. Sometimes, Montana can emulate other acts such as the Barenaked Ladies in “D’ya Ever Wonder,” but many songs are original. Classifying the group is tough as they use electronic, folk, indie, hip hop and jazz off and on in the 20-track record. In a sense, they are a novelty act with lots of talent, but no niche. They can shine in certain spots as songs like “Cin’ Toast Crunch” are jingle-worthy. In fact, if I were the head of General Mills, I’d call Butt Montana right now to get rights to that track. In addition, the duo’s attempt at white guy rap is good as well in “Let’s Not Backtrack,” which draws resemblance to “Fire Water Burn” by The Bloodhound Gang.
Arguably, the best track on the record has one of the strangest titles I’ve ever seen–“Damnit Dan, Get Off of That Horse.” Spoiler alert, it has nothing to do with anyone named Dan or a horse. This track sounds like a hybrid of The Strokes and The Toadies, mixing Julian Casablancas’s singing style with the big sounding alternative rock of The Toadies.
All in all, Butt Montana’s first offering has strengths and weaknesses. The real question, though, is can Butt Montana grow as a novelty act or will they be left in obscurity? Whatever the case, the irreverence of Butt Montana brings something new to the table.