As gratingly bratty as intended
Few genres inspire more complex and more asinine discussions than punk rock. Some consider it the only true counter-cultural movement to ever bubble up to the surface; others believe the genre only stunted that direction to gain followers that would buy their merchandise. Whatever your opinion on the genre as a whole, there’s no doubt some level of genuine brattiness to punk, especially hardcore punk. And within this world of bratty irreverence, few match the abrasive nose flicking of Green Jellÿ.
In some ways, a parody band, in some ways the truest representation of hardcore punk’s puke green heart, Green Jellÿ knows its audience and knows what that audience wants to hear. More Mad Magazine than Social Distortion, Green Jellÿ “sings” of vile things that are sure to warm the heart of any punk and turn the stomach of just about everyone else.
Perhaps Garbage Band Kids is best summed up by the band themselves on the opening of “Freeto Feet.” The lead singer opens up the track by hollering, “If you are not drunk or high on some sort of medical marijuana, this will not be funny in any sort of way. In fact, it’s just gonna be stupid…” over some surprisingly flashy guitar. From the perspective of a weary and all-too-sober album reviewer, he was correct—though the opening did elicit a chuckle.
While the rant at the opening of “Freeto Feet” mostly applies to the track it opens, it applies to the album as a whole. For evidence, turn to just about any track. “Ballad Of Green Jelly” talks of taking dumps and ripping farts, “Pukebox” features a rather hilarious outro from none other than Weird Al Yankovic. “Silence Of The Squarepants” mashes together Silence of the Lambs, Soylent Green and Spongebob Squarepants to create a queasy groove and a queasier mental image. “Beat My Meat” is… about exactly what you think it’s about. It’s a veritable swan dive into the disgusting humor of Garbage Pail Kids and all other sorts of juvenile humor. It’s honestly a lot of fun.
As one might expect, there’s nothing too exciting going on with the instruments on this Green Jellÿ album. Though it should be recognized that they’re clearly proficient at the instruments, they’re just playing parodical hardcore punk. If they played with the virtuosity they’re clearly capable of (and do reveal in flashes), it would step on the joke. On this album, the bit is king, and they’re not going to muck it up by being good at music.
There’s not a great way to digest Garbage Band Kids. It’s a hallucinogenic nightmare of puke, Fritos and farts, something that any skate punk would absolutely adore. Anyone with more “refined” sensibilities would likely find themselves suitably disgusted. It’s fun if it’s what you’re looking for, it’s not fun if it’s not—and that’s really it. So it’s a success… though perhaps that isn’t a valuable conclusion. In case it’s not, here’s an alternative. If there’s anything of value to take from this exceedingly silly record, it’s this—Shrek should’ve used Green Jellÿ instead of Smashmouth as their soundtrack provider.