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Friday, October 1, 2010

Echoreview: Mud Scholar's A Must for the Dick

Today, I watched ever so eagerly as one of my friends sampled a playlist of songs on my iPod. The album of choice? Mud Scholar's full-length debut creation, A Must for the Dick. Yeah, you read that right. Seriously, you should have been there. My friend's face was priceless! Vivid expressions danced across it as she listened: interest, surprise, amusement, shock, disbelief. Oh, Mud Scholar, I would expect nothing less from you!

Hilariously offensive douchebaggery runs freely through Mud Scholar's veins, just as creator Alex McKelvey intended. A solo project for McKelvey (you may know him as the frontman of alt rock band Crumbling Arches), he uses his knack for ridiculous voices and his brilliant ability to write lyrics that make 95% of the population squirm in their skins to bring Mud Scholar to life. If you're looking for pure, deeply meaningful music that touches the innermost recesses of your very soul, these tunes are definitely NOT for you. But if you've been craving a bit of brutal honesty guaranteed to tickle your nether regions, shock your sensibilities, and leave you laughing, Mud Scholar is, indeed, a must. So, what are the tunes like?

Stop What You're Doing And Look At Me starts the album off with an obvious plea for attention, beginning a trend of straightforward titles that continues throughout the record. Mud Scholar truly has nothing to hide! Influences? Well, the song itself tells the listener it borrows heavily from a nineties alternative style which pervades the rest of the album as well. My favorite part of the tune (at least, the only favorite I can readily admit on the internet) has to be the ending where Mud Scholar's screams of "ME" bring the insanity to a whole other level.

Waste of Air bounces in next with a danceable style reminiscent of experimental indie favorite of mine, Lemon Demon. I just love this song! It makes absolutely no apologies, and yet still manages to be an enjoyable listen. McKelvey features his voice talents in this one, creating a veritable crowd of naysayers ready to criticize his every move.

Then, proving that this album is really just a constant stream of conscious thought, Mud Scholar waxes philosophical on the beloved TV show Boy Meets World. Unexpected, yes, but fun. Long live Mr. Feeny! Later in the album, Mud Scholar makes another pop culture reference with My Favorite Band is Lifehouse, a tune I first heard in between songs during a Crumbling Arches show over a year ago. Curious, indeed, how things happen. I have to admit I've never much listened to the band Lifehouse, but when my brother's Pandora station started playing a bunch of their songs over the summer, I was amused to no end that Lifehouse's favored lyrics were so brilliantly incorporated into Mud Scholar's ridiculous homage to the band.

We'll call the next song Clusterf****d to fulfill my contractual obligation to keep this blog PG. Now, an underlying air of tragedy lies just below the humor on many of these tracks, but in this song, it makes a rather depressing move to the forefront. This is the only song on the album that leaves me feeling just sad. The sigh at the beginning of this tune is fitting, indeed.

Then Man-Slut Logic breezes in, bringing with it a slew of well-written lyrics and a sound that is musically pleasing as well. This is honesty, incarnate. Elitist's Curse, too, maintains this listenable style. I've gotta say, I'm a sucker for songs about elitism... Yeah, I really have no idea why that is, but this one gets a check plus from me.

Ever had an issue with the cops? Then I Owe Cops is your song! This one's got a whole clever little story going which I quite like. Tabitha (a love song) also holds a story within its words, albeit a very creepy one. The ultimate stalker anthem, it appears later on in the album, giving the listener no doubt that the cops will be pursuing our young Mud Scholar yet again sometime very soon.

If there was ever a song that will never be played on the radio, George Carlin is My Obi Wan is definitely it! Religious? This one's probably not for you. Curse words make you uncomfortable? You should probably avoid it. But if you do choose to give this song a listen, stereo headphones are a must. Hearing the character voices coming at you from all sides is just simply awesome.

The next song on the album, I'm in a Band, is certainly a cacophony of noise, but as someone who deals with bands on a regular basis, I find it rather hilarious. I'll give most bands the benefit of the doubt, but it wouldn't be a lie to say I've met quite a few people whose sole purpose for being in a band is truly just to give themselves a feeling of self-importance. Too true!

Baby Dinosaur finishes the album with a short, uniquely introspective look at the life of one who cannot really fit into any category. Although this song is markedly different from the rest of the album, lacking the riotous hilarity of its peers, I absolutely love it. Suffice it to say, I can relate to this idea of existing outside of any label and being a sort of living contradiction.

Want a taste of the hilarious aural assault that is A Must for the Dick for yourself? You can find it right here! And mark your calendars... Mud Scholar will be playing his first live show at Amici's Italian restaurant on October 15th. Don't miss seeing this wild douchebaggery in action!

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