I Wanna Be Your Pants


Shanachie Records, 2000


REVIEW BY: Christopher Thelen


So I open up my mail and find a disc in an envelope called I Wanna Be Your Pants, and I wonder when Prince Charles came up with the idea to record his phone calls with Camilla Parker-Bowles.

Okay, that reference probably blew by everyone except Dennis Miller (and even he doesn't return my phone calls anymore - see if I let him borrow Madden 2000 anymore), but make no mistake about this: Philadelphia-based group Huffamoose may make an album with a joke title and a joke picture (my God, it looks like someone picked up the clippings of Carrot Top's last haircut and glued them onto that poor schmoe's head), but their music is something they take a little more seriously. Think Dinosaur Jr. without J Mascis's monotone whine, and songwriting that sounds chaotic in a King Missile sense (though it's probably carefully planned to be that way), and you have Huffamoose.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The work of the band - vocalist/guitarist Kevin Hanson, bassist/vocalist Jim Stager, vocalist/rhythm guitarist Craig Elkins and (guest?) drummer Chuck Treece - isn't the easiest kind of music to instantly get into, although you should find yourself curiously focusing in on the disc's opener "My Dad's New Hit Song". Disorder like this doesn't naturally happen; this song was laid out perfectly to sound like a ramble or a rant, take your pick.

But the real magic of this band comes forth on tracks like "Isn't It Remarkable," "Sunshine" and "Johnny Depp Day," songs with a natural beauty that you frankly wouldn't expect by judging I Wanna Be Your Pants by the surface. Sure, there is some tongue-in-cheek humor scattered throughout the disc, but this just helps Huffamoose's case - namely, it proves they're not so dead serious that they won't take a chance and have fun with the music.

There are one or two missteps on I Wanna Be Your Pants, namely the title song (it's a one-joke name, and it just doesn't translate into a slightly more serious song) and "Semper Fi". However, the positives of this disc greatly outweigh the few low points. (Jeers to the band, though, for committing the cardinal sin of burying a hidden track deep in the CD... c'mon, guys, I have better things to do than to sit through so much silence!)

Huffamoose, sadly, is probably not the kind of band who are going to hit the musical lottery in a Pearl Jam-esque way. But what I Wanna Be Your Pants proves is that even the bands who may always hover in the shadows are well worth your time - and sometimes are more worthy of your money than the ones who are in the spotlight.

Rating: B+

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



© 2000 Christopher Thelen and The Daily Vault. All rights reserved. Review or any portion may not be reproduced without written permission. Cover art is the intellectual property of Shanachie Records, and is used for informational purposes only.