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by Chuck Eddy

May 10, 2011

Comedy Metal: The Ultimate Playlist

by Chuck Eddy  |  May 10, 2011

The difficult thing about trying to parse humor in metal is that, intentionally or not, lots of metal is really funny, and really often that's what makes it good. Well actually, that happened more back before the extreme/thrash/death/black/grind revolution, when you could actually laugh out loud at the lyrics, which were more discernible in days of yore. But even now, bands can look hilarious — think, for instance, of evil Norwegian black metal bunch Immortal (current members: Abbath Doom Occulta, Demonaz Doom Occulta, Horgh, Apollyon), who frequently pose with what look like giant chimney brushes and TV antennas, with which they are traversing Arctic burning-church rooftops perhaps. Anyway, for purposes of sanity, any survey of "Comedy Metal" should probably limit itself to music that at least seems to be trying to be ridiculous — like, you know, on purpose.

So that's what we've tried to do here. And yes, OK, there might be a couple accidentally ridiculous ringers, but there's no way to know for sure, and we're sure as Hades not gonna tell you which ones we're suspecting. One key, though: some of the really obvious "joke" tracks probably aren't half as funny as they want to be. So if something on our Comedy Metal playlist doesn't crack you up, there's an especially good chance it's meant in jest, get it? What a paradox.

That said, let's see here: we've got a few acts from the comedy world banging their satiric and perhaps ironic heads; we've got two bands who dress up like cartoon monsters and one band that actually is a cartoon; we've got a couple songs about cross-dressing and three consecutive ones that concern beer, including one sung by Scotland's leading "pirate metal" band; we've got two metallized covers of cheesy early-'80s pop hits for which we hereby apologize for the fact that they are not as good as the originals; we've got a white Jewish New York rap trio helped out by Slayer's guitarist and a famous Jewish-singer-led N.Y. thrash band from the same era attempting somewhat ineptly to mimic the white rap group; we've got two earlier Hebrew-heavy N.Y. bands singing about foot fetishes and being members of the master race; we've got two bands who claim in their names to be "from hell"; we've got blatant scatology and misogyny and garbage and urinals and ice-crushers and redneck 7-11s and insects exploded by fireworks. We've also included a few songs that the unimaginative might dismiss as "punk," but lots of times punk = metal + jokes. And metal's a far bigger world than some think.

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