Jelly of the Month Club – Introducing Jelly of the Month Club
1.) Brand New Friend
2.) Dolphins and Porpoises
3.) Tell Someone
5.) Welcome to the Carnival
6.) The English Language
8.) Timmy Turtlehead
9.) Waffle Boogie
10.) Ignore Your Parents
The Pier Album Rating:
Release Date: Oct 8th, 2013
Website: JOTMC Website
Jelly of the Month Club is: Bud Gaugh (famed drummer from Sublime); Capt. Dr. Todd (horns and keys from Sublime & Sublime with Rome); Bert Susanka (lead singer from the legendary surf-punk band the Ziggens); Mic Dangerously (lead singer and guitarist from the funk rock band Zen Robbi); and Mr. Crumb (lead singer, guitarist and multi-instrumentalist from his own alternative rock group, Mr. Crumb).
Once the band solidified, they began writing with a focus on some good, clean, G-Rated music for all ages. Mic Dangerously adds in “Yes, Jelly of the Month Club is a band that plays music for children, but trust me when I say it is fun for the whole family, I promise you’ll dig it too Mom and Dad!” The idea to form JOTMC came in 2012 when Todd and Bert decided they wanted to play music for fun with members of different bands they had worked with throughout their careers. According to the band, their main focus is “writing fun G rated music, the type of fun for the whole family!”
The band’s image will draw directly from the infectious personalities and profound experiences of the individual players and will embody and exemplify the core values of creativity, humor, curiosity, spirit, originality, and service to others.
“Introducing, Jelly of the Month Club” highlights folk, rock, blues, swing jazz, ska, punk, surf, bluegrass, and soul. Honestly, I am sitting here laughing my ass off to “Timmy Turtle Head” and the unnecessary amount of fart noises that seem to go on forever. I can’t help but picture these guys laughing in the studio with a synth loaded with fart noises, trying to nail the fart solo. I wonder if it was one take? How much beer was in the studio and is it okay to get drunk recording kids songs? Oh and Bert Susanka Plays the world’s worst guitar solo… has he flipped his Ziggens?
“Introducing, Jelly of the Month club” is not an album that will be widely accepted by the Reggae Rock community, which is ironic because if Bradley Nowell were alive, he would probably be in this band. That being said, I think the Jelly of the Month Club’s Introducing the Jelly of the Month Club is a very well done family concept album, true to stylistic playing and traditional music, great harmonies, tons of personality and is nothing you would expect from this cast of characters.
Actually it’s not fair to refer to the JOTMC as a cast of characters, that would imply that they are acting and what speaks to the authenticity of this album is the “characters” seem more true to life than one would think. The songs are based in morals or educational themes while reminding kids to give all your money to aging rock stars, to ignore your parents and that “you can’t go left in General Pinochet’s Cadillac” ….. that’s punk rock parenting.
From a musicianship standpoint, this is a collection of some of the most well written and performed songs I have heard in a long time. Touching on topics of anarchy, friendship, teamwork, family values, history, music and education, the JOTMC manage to pull off a cohesive kids album that is funny as hell and remains edgy…Seriously.
I love the variety of sounds from the guitars and stringed instruments, to the operatic vocals on “The Great Lemonade Stand off of Maple Street”. Whether its punk or surf tones or traditional Americana, the JOTMC nails it. I don’t want to downplay how the bass and drums really push this record along, cause they are steady as hell, but the vocal performances on this record are outstanding.
Bert Susanka, Mic Dangerously and Mr. Crumb’s styles range from soft and soulful, touching on raspy and worn, to downright low and spooky. The expressiveness in their voices and range of singing bring these songs to an unbelievable place and I can only imagine what it would be like to be a kid and have these stories painted to life for me through song.
I really get the feeling that this was a project started with good intentions and good times and you can hear that pouring out of the speakers.
All of these musicians are top notch in their own gig, but together the JOTMC is a special project and this is an awesome album. I mean who doesn’t want Bert Susanka, Mic Dangerously, Mr. Crumb and the rest of the Jelly Of The Month Club teaching their kids? Maybe this isn’t such a good idea….. All I know is this would be a great Saturday Morning cartoon, filmed by Joshua Fischel, of course.
Written & Reviewed By: Tommy Dubs (of A Sunny Place For Shady People)
[Editor’s Note: All reviews are reflective of the album in it’s entirety, from start to finish. These reviews are the honest opinion of each writer/reviewer, expressing their feedback as a genuine fan of the music. Each star rating reflects their review of the album, not the band. Music is subjective. Regardless of the review or star rating, we encourage you to listen to the music yourself & form your own opinion. Spread the awareness of all music in its art & contribution]