M.O.D. - _Red, White and Screwed_
(Index Entertainment, 2007)
by: Jeremy Ulrey (
Wow. Didn't see this one coming. Billy Milano's been listening to his Hatebreed. A lot. Sure, he still pens songs with titles like "Balls on Bread" and "Hardcore Harry", but _Red, White and Screwed_ sounds so much like the Hatesters that I have to give up enough points for execution as I take away for complete lack of originality. Apparently Milano's relocation to Austin, Texas has lit a fire under his ass for the more serious strain of hardcore, the man supposedly having "washed his hands" of 2003's kitschy non-classic _The Rebel You Love to Hate_. I don't have a set of lyrics, and even though this is a decent enough listen, yeah, I can't quite be bothered to parse out the lyrics, but overall I'd say this is the most enjoyable Billy Milano release since _Speak English or Die_. Not sure how seriously I take his being serious though; good lord, check out the spoken word shit on his Myspace page. This dude is actually starting to take shit seriously, and not just in a satirical way either. On "The Great Experiment" (Myspace) Billy actually states "I consider myself to be a moral and just person" as he goes on in some sort of old-school Dennis Miller rant style. Perhaps Billy feels Seth Putnam has outpaced him in terms of his old tongue-in-cheek bullshit, perhaps otherwise, but when he makes the point ("Every Dog Has Its Day", Myspace) that Whoopie Goldberg defending Michael Vick's fighting dogs as being part of "Southern culture" is the equivalent of saying that slavery was simply an inherent aspect of Southern culture, well hell, there's something actually sizzling in that brain pan after all. But as for _Red, White and Screwed_, even when Milano gets all tongue in cheek he's making puns like "The Big It"; quite a far cry from "Bubble Butt" and "Party Animal". "Hardcore Harry", which ten years ago would have been some kind of porn send up, is here an indictment of those punk scenesters who are there simply to cash in through merchandising and ripping off the bands in whatever underhanded manner possible (though he does take another hilarious stab at King Diamond on "G.L.E.T. [Greatest Lie Ever Told]"). Truthfully, there's nothing particularly deep here, but due to the man's past I'm inclined to give him a pass on the merits of reformation, and musically this is all pretty fucking listenable, even if that's the first time I've ever said that about an M.O.D. record. One of the year's biggest surprises.
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