Album Review: Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy “Songs From The Garage”

“Songs From The Garage”
Jim Breuer and the Loud & Rowdy
Metal Blade Records
Producer: Rob Caggiano
Tracks: 11

Our score: 2 out of 5 stars

Accomplished comedian Jim Breuer has been mixing his love of heavy metal into his stand up acts for years. Be it through real life stories, impersonations and even adding a live band to portions of his comedy shows. “Songs From The Garage” is the debut music album from the actor/comedian who was a staple on “Saturday Night Live” during the late 90’s. Produced by former Anthrax and current Volbeat guitarist Rob Caggiano the album features 11 tracks which combine in your face guitars and drums with Breuer’s off kilter comedic stylings.

From his portrayal of “Goat Boy” on SNL to his role as the lovable stoner Brian in “Half Baked” Jim Breuer’s comedy is something that I have grown up with so, when I heard he was going to put out an album of actual metal music I couldn’t wait to check it out. Sadly what I found on the albums 11 tracks was a mediocre comedy album with a band playing your typical 80’s style metal in the back ground. There really was just nothing spectacular here. Not even a guest appearance by long time AC/DC front man Brian Johnson on the track “Mr. Rock n Roll” could turn this around for me. Knowing Jim’s love of heavy music and the fact that his backing band consists of Mike Tichy, Joe Vigliotti and Metal Mike Chlasciak (all great players) the two just didn’t mesh well and came off as stale and forced. Aside from a few fun titles like “Raising Teenage Girls” and “Be a Dick 2nite” I just couldn’t find anything that I would listen to more than once.

When a performer crosses mediums it can go one of two ways, either really well or in the case of “Songs From the Garage” really bad. I appreciate the attempt that Breuer and company made on the record however I was torn between the mix of comedic tracks and those that were more serious as it caused me to question the direction of the album. Was it meant to be a serious attempt at a metal record or just another comedy record with musical elements? I think the album would have come off as way more cohesive if that common element was defined clearly. Yes I understand Jim Breuer is a comedian so there will undoubtedly be comedic elements to his works but, knowing his level of musical fandom especially when it comes to rock and heavy metal music it makes me question why he did this the way he did.

Track Listing:
1.) Thrash
2.) Raising Teenage Girls
3.) Old School
4.) Be a Dick 2nite
5.) My Rock n Roll Dream
6.) Mr. Rock n Roll
7.) Who’s Better Than Us?!
8.) Family Warrior
9.) Sugar Rush
10.) Wannabe
11.) The Unexplained

DVD Review “Jim Breuer: And Laughter For All”

Actors: Jim Breuer
Directors: Jay Chapman
Rated: NR (Not Rated)
DVD Release Date: November 26, 2013
Run Time: 58 minutes

Our Score: 3.5 out of 5 stars

At the beginning of this special, Jim Breuer questions himself about how he should do his latest stand-up special. He does this with multiple impersonations. From Joe Pesci to Ozzy Osbourne. It seems like an odd way to begin his latest special. A moment the live audience won’t see from his dressing room. It’s even more bizarre because it’s not necessarily funny, but if you don’t listen to metal, then you’re not gonna find too much to laugh at in the first 20 minutes.

I’m someone who owns every Iron Maiden, Metallica and Slayer album. Sadly though, I’ve only seen Slayer live. So when he kicks things off by talking about becoming an aging metalhead, he has my full attention. Jim Breuer has always had hard rock and metal as a staple of his stand-up, but this time around he’s hit his 40’s. He compares his usual suburban outings, dressing up and watching musicals, to convincing his wife to see Metallica and surviving the madness of Slayer fans. Just so you’re not too out of the loop, he cleverly compares fans seeing Eddie in Iron Maiden to children watching the plush children’s music group, the Wiggles.

If that’s not your cup of tea, he manages to tell the stories of life. The pitfalls of becoming a father, a “jungle safari” and talking about those unnecessary conversations he has with other parents about why his children don’t own a cell phone. He’s very skillful at weaving his stories and comically acting out the folks in his scenarios. He makes sure to complete his stories with Michael Winslow style, microphone induced sound effects. He manages to mouth everything he can from guttural noises to horns. Instead of joke after joke, it’s more like he’s laying out real and possible scenarios and tells it like a story. He really gets into it making full use of the stage to act out.

There doesn’t appear to be an overall theme to the stand-up, but most of his stand-ups that I’ve watched didn’t seem to have one. If there is an idea to this, it’s about how aging has changed his perspective on many things. He could change his stand-up. He could become more relatable. Maybe he could swear more or not swear at all. Those are the questions he poses at the beginning, but by the end when he recounts the day he decided to stand-up, it becomes clear. He loves what he’s done and there’s no reason to change now.


Related Content