Big Daddy Multitude
Hopeless Records, 1994
REVIEW BY: Matthew Turk
ORIGINALLY PUBLISHED: 05/14/2004
I like Ska. The problem with that statement, regrettably, is that I don't really know much about the genre. I first heard Mustard Plug at a free concert when I was in high school (I'm from the greater metropolitan area of their hometown, Grand Rapids, Michigan), and only (relatively) recently started listening to them again.
There are a couple of problems with Big Daddy Multitude. For starters, it's quite uneven. The opening track, "Skank by Numbers," is annoying at best and tedious the rest of the time. The standout tracks are clear at first listen -- "Too Stoopid," "Murder in Tulip City," "Mr. Smiley," and my personal favorite track from the album, "Thigh-High Nylons."
The bass guitar is really the star of this album; the vocals are decent, the horns are alright but not amazing, and the guitar is pedestrian, but the bass guitar is mixed up loud and with a beautiful tone. Listen to "Thigh High Nylons" with headphones on and see if you can tell me that you didn't find that bass guitar opening to be the greatest thing you've heard in a while. The thing is, for all the beautiful bass lines, we're still left with a jokes that don't work and songs that fall flat.
"Schoolboy," "Ball Park Skank," and "Average Guy" all try to be funny, but maybe the humor's beyond me, because they didn't impress me musically or lyrically. "I Made Love to a Martian" - much like the rest of Big Daddy Multitude -- is mediocre, not great.
Overall, this is an album with a great deal of promise -- the problem is, because it is so uneven and unfocused, it ends up being nothing more than fodder for a greatest hits album.