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Self-Fulfilling Prophets
*special introductory paragraph!
*Hardcore Vol. 1 74-77
*Hardcore Vol. 2 1974-1977
*Live: The Mongoloid Years
*Be Stiff EP
*Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!
*Duty Now For The Future
*Freedom Of Choice
*Live 1980 DualDisc
*New Traditionalists
*Oh, No! It's Devo
*E-Z Listening Disc
*Total Devo
*Now It Can Be Told: At The Palace 12/9/88
*Recombo DNA
*Smooth Noodle Maps
*Pioneers Who Got Scalped: The Anthology
*Something For Everybody

Named after Tammy Wynette's "D-E-V-O-R-C-E," Devo is a 'new wave' band from Ohio who mix electronics, rock'n'roll, strange humor, robotic beats, retro-future imagery and nerdy costumes to illustrate (among other things) their philosophy of 'de-evolution.' This concept apparently holds that mankind is 'devolving' as it increasingly conforms to a herd mentality. To prove their point, Devo spent the 1980's devolving from a smart avant-garde rock band into a smarmy synth-pop pile of shit. Congregated around the brother-teams of Mark and Bob Mothersbaugh & Gerald and Bob Casale, Devo started out sounding like an energetic and hooky cross between technology teutons Kraftwerk and weirdo westerners The Residents. Unfortunately, following the massive success of "Whip It" from their third album, they dumped the guitars and quirkiness and worked their way towards becoming a cutesy synth-pop bore. See what happens when you follow the green?

You become a better golfer. But we can discuss that another time.

Hardcore Vol. 1 74-77 - Rykodisc 1990
Rating = 7

Before attracting the attention of David Bowie, Brian Eno and other hermaphrodites in 1977, Devo recorded a lot of creepy and silly lo-fi songs in their basement. These mostly featured rudimentary beats, raw one-shot vocals, groovy bass lines, funny synthesizer squiggles (the same sort that so please Pere Ubu to this day) and trebly distorted Snakefinger-esque guitars playing simple little blues-rock licks. The best of these early recordings can be found on the two Hardcore Devo CDs of which I am currently speaking.

The original line-up actually consisted of bassist Gerald Casale alongside three Mothersbaugh brothers (synth/singer Mark, guitarist Bob and electronic drummer Jim) but by mid-75, Bob Casale had joined on second guitar and Jim had been replaced by actual drummer Alan Myers. Both of these line-ups can be found, enjoyed and compared here on the Hardcore Devo CDs currently under discussion.

The tapes certainly do sound home-recorded, but the band did an excellent job of separating the musical elements across both channels, so you can easily discern all the odd sounds and riffs present. Early demos of the Devo classics "Jocko Homo," "Mongoloid" and "Satisfaction" can be found here, along with "Social Fools," which would join the other three on the band's Be Stiff EP before being left behind in the cold as its three cohorts moved on to greater success on the Q: Are We Not Men? LP, taking fellow Be Stiffer "I Saw My Baby Getting Sloppy" with them. How could they be so CRUEL?!

But enough of my anthropomorphism. Other highlights of the disc include the sinister robot-voiced opener "Mechanical Man," surprisingly evocative ring modulator ballad "Golden Energy," ridiculous funk rocker "Midget" (chorus: "She didn't know I was a midget!") and jubilant 10/4-timed punk rocker "Uglatto." The remaining tracks all have their charms, but are generally undermined by either loud tuneless vocals or overreliance on rock'n'roll cliche's (as fun as they are, oldtime rockers like "I'm A Potato" and "Stop Look And Listen" owe more to Chuck Berry than to Devo themselves!).(!)

By the way, I know Mark Mothersbaugh gets most of the credit, but from the beginning Gerald Casale was writing just as much if not more of the band's material. He wrote "Mongoloid," for Pete's sake! And "I Can't Get No Satisfaction"! And "You're Not The Only One With Mixed Emotions"! So stop giving all the credit to Mick Jagger because Keith R - no wait, we were

No but what I love the most about Devo's ridiculous, herky-jerk cover of "Satisfaction" is that Mr. Mothersbaugh does something in the middle that I always do when singing other peoples' songs to myself. I get hooked on one little part and either repeat it fifty times or change its word pronunciation to make it sound ridiculous. Some examples from my own life include:

- Singing the Beau Brummels' cover of "You've Got To Hide Your Love Away" as if the singer's slight drawl were in fact the worst drawl in history: "Heee-yaaa I stay-uh-wind-uh, head in hay-uh-wind-uh."

- Singing Petula Clark's "Downtown" as if the chorus never ends: "DOWNTOWN! It'll be cool when you're DOWNTOWN! It won't be bad when you're DOWNTOWN! It'll be fun when you're DOWNTOWN! It won't suck eggs when you're DOWNTOWN! It'll smell nice when you're DOWNTOWN! (etc)."

- Singing Sting's "Fields of Gold" as if he's got his mind on shoes for some reason: "There's a big ol' shoe, it's a big ol' shoe. Big ol' smelly shoe-shoe./It's a big ol' shoe, in the Southern sky - beyond the fields of gold."

So you can only imagine the personal joy I feel every time Mr. Mothersbaugh reaches the last verse of "I Can't Get No Satisfaction" and sings, "And when I'm flyin' around the world/And I'm doin' this and I'm tryin' that/And I'm tryin' to make some girl/who tells me, 'BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY BABY....'"

And their lyrics are just.... odd. Here, some examples:

"Buttered beauties of the negroid north
Spread your glossy tallow on me
Oiled wonder of the midnight forest
Toss down your web on me"

"Martian feet turn dirt and stone
For buried treasure, human bone
Madison men tattoo ads
On ten-year-olds with sucker pads"

"We were all alone
Then she bit my bone
I said, 'Let's sell the phone
Try to get away.'"

"Pretty little mongo
Everybody wants her toilet
Same old story
She won't let nobody near it."

"You thought your mom and dad were queer
You always wanted egg in your beer
Now your dog won't go when you try to make it
He's got a bone but he's not gonna shake it."

"Space girls always smoke for taste
Swallow butts and leave no waste."

"Another hairdo
Mobutu shoes
This Roman nose
You're uglatto!"

Racist? Sexist? Funny? Gross? Incisive? Sophomoric?

Who can even tell!?

So if it's fun rock'n'roll, discomforting electronics and questionable lyrics you're after, look no further than Hardcore Pornography!

Reader Comments (Ashley Mark Pomeroy)
That's what I like about this site. You took the trouble to count out the exact number of times he sings "baby" - 34 - whereas most other writers wouldn't have bothered. (James x)
I just turned 40.

I do that thing where you get a bad song in your head and change the lyrics to make it funnier and then can't get it out of your head until you meet the girl of your dreams who kills you.

Here's the latest:

(To the first verse of 'Wake me up before you go-go')

You took your labia out of my hand
And you replaced it with a greasy rubber band

The search engine's back! Thanks. I enjoyed reading the story of how you shat yourself at the pool (whilst listening to The Bad Brains, when you were seven) again. For some reason, the phrase "handy trunks" stuck in my head for two years, which is what I put into the search engine.
This album was a revelation for me when it first came out. They've always hinted at weird perversity in their major label albums but this series really reveals their freaky side. Anyone who thinks of devo as a "safe as milk" new wave band should listen to this underground freak fest. Mark's disturbing laughter/bawling at the end of "oh no" still creeps me out!
Weird but cool shit.
I'd give it a 7/10.

Add your thoughts?

Hardcore Vol. 2 1974-1977 - Rykodisc 1991
Rating = 8

Before we continue this discussion, I'd like to address something:

AN ENVELOPE! Heh heh, no but seriously. Actually I feel like I made that same joke in another recent review, but who can tell today with the ozone layer.

My point is this: I know there's a lot of you out there right now going, "Hay what's going on with Mark Prindle? He used to make me laugh uproarical and now he's all Mr. Serious Guy. Time was I had to refurnish my home twice a week because of the diarrhea I got from his rib-ticklers, but now his reviews consist of straight-faced commentary. This one time his site made me laugh so hard that my heart stopped and I went into a coma for nine years. I miss good times like these. What has happened to Mark Prindle? Has he finally grown up and come to the conclusion that poop jokes aren't worth the paper they're printed on?"

The answer is no. I'm still the same old "Hilarious Jim" Prindle you grew up with. And I know it saddens you to feel like you may be losing Mark "The Rib-Tickling Tick-Ribbler" Prindle to the Adult World of Grown-Up Record Reviewing. So let me explain why my recent reviews have perhaps not been the laughter showcases that you've grown to expect from Mark Prindle "The Funny Person."

I'm unemployed and depressed, basically. It used to be easy to come up with silly gimmicks and delightful knock-knock jokes because I was already in a good mood. It was a special treat in my workday to take a break and churn out a laughter-filled shenanigan of a review. These days it's like stabbing myself in the heart with a pencil and bandaging the wound with my soul. Look, here I go trying to make up a hilarious joke:

What do you get when you cross Michael Jackson with a small furry rodent?
I don't know, why don't you GO FUCK YOURSELF!?

See what I mean? The old, carefree Mark Prindle would've come up with a LOL punchline like "a mole childster" or "a long night for the proctologist" but not today. Today's Mark Prindle is a bitter, seething ball of sadness.

I know that there are many people in worse situations than me. I'm blessed with a wonderful high-earning wife and adorable Mr. Henry The Dog, and my health seems to be doing okay. But I feel like a failure. You're not supposed to be unemployed at 35. You're supposed to be President of the United States! I remember when I was just a child daydreaming in the sun, thinking, "Some day I will be 35 and at the peak of my career. I'LL show them what I can do with the Finestein account!" But look at me now. A broken man with a fourteen-foot beard wearing a barrel. Typing words to nobody on a rickety old stenograph. Yearning for the day when I can once again get up at 7:30 AM and shout, "Top of the mornin', world! I'm comin' to PUBLICIZE ya!"

Actually, I am doing some freelance work, so that's pretty cool. I've also started up a side career as an adult film star, so keep an eye out for any DVDs starring "Dirk Softenflaccid." And just FYI it's not my fault their fluffers are ugly.

The second installment of the Hardcore Devo series is even better than the first! Both longer and more consistent than the first entry, Vol. 2 includes: another great bunch of warped boogie-woogie rock'n'rollers; more sinister synthesizer experiments; inspired deconstructions of surf-spy, doowop, hard rock, cartoon music and exotica; and already-strong demos of later Devo classics "Be Stiff," "Clockout" and "Working In The Coalmine."

You know, I realize that the Hardcore collections were intended for 'hardcore' Devo fans only, but I really must disagree with the idea that these tracks are too primitive or esoteric for everyday music fans to enjoy. In my view, this early material is the most creative and unique work they ever did. Not only are some of the riffs absolute jaw-droppers ("All Of Us" and "Can You Take It?," for just two possible examples, foresee the strange melodic progressions that bands like The Jesus Lizard and The Thinking Fellers Union Local 282 would be writing 15 years later), but the raw guitar tones and cheap screw-loose synthesizers ensure that the songs never sound polished, predictable or boring. Quite frankly, I think potential Devo fans are better off starting here than almost anywhere else in their catalog! Some of the songs are underwritten and the vocals are certainly untrained, but the band always sounds smart and eager to create new combinations of sound.

Some of the lyrics are fucken gross though. And by "fucken," I mean "fucking." Look at this goo:

"Well, he caught his first whiff
in the jungles of 'Nam
That slant-eyed catfish
tasted better than Mom"

"Fruit ooze is wetly lewd
So stay dry in rubber boots
And cucumbers ripe and rude
Bend over fixed to shoot."

"Baby talkin' bitches
dying without fun
Man was meant for woman
Why are you so dumb?"

"I need a chick to suck my dick
I need a dog to lick my hog
I need a cat to stroke my bat"

"Bought a Kodak brownie
Developed film at home
Took some shots of sister
Pants were full of foam
Took a couple back views
Took some up front
Three tries wallet size
I was lookin' at that cunt"

Come on Devo, we turn to you for sociopolitical satire, not horny masturbation jisms.

Reader Comments
This is not only Devo's best collection of songs but probably some of the best weirdo/rock music ever recorded! It is a shame that Devo deems this material inferior and unfit for reprint, these two out of print discs can only be found at jacked up collector prices or downloaded (FO FREE). Anyone wanting some music that kicks ass should check this one out in particular and I'm glad to see SOMEONE writing about it instead of just me bugging people to listen to it. However I have to say I have a certain way I read your reviews, I skip over the "comedy" bits and can usually spot where the actual review begins. Sorry, thats just how it is. Its frustrating that you decided to go fucking overboard on the Devo page however. Fuck you. No I mean, thank you. Ask Devo about these albums if you ever get a chance for an INTERVIEW and tell them that they are indeed their best albums and they should recognize this. And! Devo has done two new songs in the past year, which is better than them assuming they can pull off a whole album, Watch Me Work It and Don't Shoot I'm A Man, two surprisingly damn good songs.
This was the first devo album i ever bought i think. I remember seeing this one in the store when i was 12 or something and never saw it again until years later when i ordered it. The recording quality sounds old and crackly but the songs are good enough that it just adds to the charm of hearing ancient devo. its got lots of great tracks that aren't on their studio albums. I wouldn't say this album is as accessible as something like oh no its devo or "Are we not men? we are Devo" but its got enough hooks to get you interested so you listen to it again and appreciate some of the more experimental tracks. My personal favs are boojie boys funeral, let's go, (which sounds a lot like the meow meow meow meow song from the cat food commercial) and bottled up just to name a few.

I think the hardcore devo albums really show how fearless devo were to be making music this fucked up and un commercial way back in the mid seventies. People must have thought they were nuts and they may have been on to something, as Prindle said the lyrics are pretty weird. They should totally re release the hardcore devo albums though I've still never heard vol 1 and its pretty expensive on e bay last time i looked.

Add your thoughts?

Live: The Mongoloid Years - Rykodisc 1992
Rating = 8

So what exactly do these Devo folks look like? Well, they've dressed in various uniforms over the years, but their most famous accoutrement is a little hat that looks like an upside-down toilet.

Say, here's a photo now!

Good old Devo and their uniforms. I'm glad we were all able to enjoy this photo of Devo in their uniforms. The Devo members pictured above need no introduction, as I'm sure you recognized them immediately.

This live CD includes nine songs from a 1977 NYC show, four from a 1976 Akron show, and a catalog of disasters from a 1975 Cleveland outing. The sound is about what you'd expect for an unknown '70s band (i.e. lo-fi and monophonic), but the songs are so strong, they metaphorically bust a hole of quality through the wall of poor recording.

Every Q: Are We Not Men? track except "Shrivel Up" can be found here, along with a few Hardcore tunes, two early rarities and four originals that would later show up on Duty Now For The Future (as ammunition for those who consider that album "leftovers from Q: Are We Not Men?"). The 1977 performances are of course the tightest and most melodic on the disc, but the earlier shows are more interesting from a historical perspective. First of all: if they were performing the awesome "Clockout" and "Blockhead" as early as 1976, why in Christ did they leave them off their first album!? Actually, I guess you could say that about a lot of the stuff on Hardcore too. Too many great songs, too little studio time.

Secondly and final of all: the 1975 material showcases the early triple-Mothersbaugh/single-Casale line-up as an opening act with one song ("Jocko Homo"), dedicated to punishing an audience that hadn't even come to see them play. The rarity "Subhuman Woman" is worth hearing as evidence that Devo could've turned into Throbbing Gristle had they been more depressed, but the rest of the gig is a monstrosity of assholishness. Highlights include a terrible ballad ("Beulah") that sounds like a timid mid-'60s Zappa throwaway, a five-minute excerpt of a "Jocko Homo" performance that allegedly lasted a full half-hour (which would explain the audience member who grabs a mic and shouts, "You're not even - you're just a bunch of assholes!" and "Everyone in favor of getting these assholes off the stage, stand up!") (to which a Devo member replies, "IS HE NOT A MAN!?") and a noisy synth-destroyed version of "I Need A Chick" that results in the promoter unplugging their equipment and nearly getting into an altercation with a band member, as witnessed by our hidden cameras:

Promoter: "Get your fuckin' band off. What the fuck's going on?"
Devo: "Who are you? Who are you? Who are you?"
Promoter: "The other groups have been waiting to go on, man."
Devo: "What is this, a party? A party? Is this a party?"
Promoter: "There's another band that's been waiting to go on. Everybody's been throwing beer cans at these people and all kindsa shit."
Devo: "Why don't you get out of here? I'm telling you to get out of here!"
Promoter: "You gonna do it?"
Devo: "Yeah, I think I'll do that! Who the fuck do you think you are, man? Jesus Christ. I oughta bludgeon you some time."
Promoter: "Yeah? Well, let's do it right now, motherfucker!"

I'm quite proud of my transcribing skills, so if you think I misheard anything in this exchange, please let me know so I can pretend I changed it on purpose.

Actually, although most copies of the album end here, my rare copy includes several more minutes of this conversation! So I'll continue transcribing for you:

Devo: "I'm sorry. I didn't mean it. It's just that we tried so hard to do a good job, and now we feel like you don't appreciate it."
Promoter: "But I do! I love you guys! In fact, I love you personally. You're a wonderful person."
Devo: "I love you too."
Promoter: "People just don't understand that love and hate are the same emotion -- they're so close."
Devo: "Shut up and make love to me."
(*the two make beautiful love by the seaside*)
Devo: "Honey, I'm pregnant."
(*retarded infant pops out, records Smooth Noodle Maps CD*)

I know it seems crazy that this exchange could've taken place, but I'm telling the truth! It's all right here on my rare copy of the album. And if you want to hear it for yourself, sorry I accidentally dropped it down the toilet just now.

Speaking of which, check out this AWESOME HORSE.

Reader Comments
Forget the horse, check out that big ol' Mercury 4-door with the roof cut off! And the low, throaty rumble of the V-8 motor! Devo is okay.
back, during my more pretentious days, I would have praised Devo or any of these non-traditional groups for "challenging" their audience (ie Sex Pistols, PiL, any band who annoys the audience for like to have a good time) but I now I think these bands are just being dicks. It seems a bit cliched where any of these shows where the audience gets angry are looked back with fondness when in actuality anyone would have been pissed off at a band for wasting their time like that.

Add your thoughts?

Be Stiff EP - Stiff 1978
Rating = 8

In addition to an awesome horse, Devo had their own little language and code words that they used all the time -- words like 'potato' and 'spud' (meaning, I suppose, 'human being'). And 'poot.' And character names like 'The Chinaman' and 'Booji Boy' (pronounced 'Boogie Boy'). But most interesting for our purposes here today is their carefree tossing-around of offensive slang terms for the mentally retarded.

Why, this six-song EP alone includes both "Mongoloid" and "Jocko Homo" (with its proud boast that "We're pinheads now; we are not whole"). In case you were born on a Jackass Farm, let me share an important piece of social etiquette: you don't go around calling people 'Mongoloids' and 'Pinheads'!!! 'Mongoloid' is a mean-spirited term for a person with Down's Syndrome, and a 'Pinhead' suffers from Microcephaly. Maybe Devo intended the terms as metaphors for the conformist working man, but it's doubtful when (for example) they distinctly refer to the 'Mongoloid' as having "one chromosome too many."

Luckily, because I have friends in important lands, I've recently discovered some RARE, UNRELEASED Devo songs from these early years! Here they are, for your enjoyment:

by Devo

There goes a tard
Conformist tard
A generalized, triarchic disorder
What a fool tard
Workaday tard
Throw him to the spics across the wetback border

Tard Tard
We hate tards
Tard Tard
Make 'em get green cards

There's another tard
Look at that tard
Characterized by subaverage cognitive functioning
Stupid ol' tard
Smelly-poot tard
If you ask me, his heart could use some puncturing

Tard Tard
Conformist sheep
Tard Tard
I'd like to murder you in your sleep

by Devo

Poor little gimp
Has a physical disability
Poor little gimp
Can't walk due to illness or injury
Poor little gimp
His life is so hard
Poor little gimp
Cripply Ol' Rubber Legs walks like a Tard

by Devo

I hate people with muscular dystrophy
And I'm not using that term as a metaphor
Nor am I portraying a character like "Booji Boy" in this song
My name is Mark Mothersbaugh and I literally despise people with muscular dystrophy

As for this EP proper, it's comprised of what I'm told are Devo's first three singles. They're still a guitar-focused band, using synths mainly to interject strange noises into the songs. Although definitely not 'hi-fi,' the recordings do have a bit more crispness and 'oomph' than the basement demos. Four of the songs would soon be re-recorded with Brian Eno for Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo!, and the other two can be found in demo form on the Hardcore discs, but are played at a much quicker, rockin'er clip this time around.

Look out because I'm going to fire some bullet points at you now:

- Mark sings "Jocko Homo" in a much more tentative manner than he soon would, and there is an 'uproarious' Ohio riddle in the middle of the song
- They're still stinging "Mongoloid" with pinched-nose nerdy voices, which they'd thankfully drop by the next re-recording
- Unlike the slow creepy ring modulating demo on Hardcore One, "Social Fools" is now played as an uptempo guitar rocker!

The Be Stiff EP isn't a must-own since, as I mentioned, they re-recorded 2/3rds of it for their first album anyway. But if you're already a fan, you'll probably enjoy hearing these raw alternate versions of songs you know by heart.

Granted, you can find even rawer alternate versions on the Hardcore CDs.

See, this is why I'm not handling publicity for Stiff Records.


Reader Comments
I hear Devo is coming out with a new album this year. I'm going to have to write them a letter demanding that "Muscular Dystrophy Asshole" be included as the first single.

Add your thoughts?

* Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! - Warner Bros. 1978 *
Rating = 10

This is a GUITAR album. If you've always avoided Devo due to fears of keyboard overdose, BUY THIS ALBUM. Half of the songs are energetic 'up' rock anthems, the other half darker and stranger -- but all of them favor guitars over synthesizers. And this is the only Devo studio album about which this can be said, so appreciate it.

And yes, the main riff of "Uncontrollable Urge" bears a passing resemblance to "Misty Mountain Hop" but only barely so SHUT UP.

The production is Eno-riffic; the songs are energetic, fun, odd and life-affirming; and the instrumental interplay is an orgy of oft-changing delight! To illustrate, here's a complete breakdown of "(I Can't Get No) Satisfaction":

(0:01) Stilted 5-hit drumbeat begins
(0:03) Speedy palm-muted two-string five-chord guitar line begins in right speaker
(0:05) Two strange zooming guitar noises appear in right speaker for no reason
(0:07) Ultra-catchy bass line starts up
(0:11) Hideous Chuck Berry lead guitar parody begins in right speaker and slowly makes its way center
(0:21) Vocals begin
(0:36) Second guitar line (a pattern of eight strange individual notes) appears in left speaker to interplay with the original riff
(0:57) A synthesizer begins doubling the second guitar line
(1:48) Singer begins saying "Baby"
(1:58) Singer finishes saying "Baby"
(2:08) A third (fuzzed-out) guitar begins playing the three rising notes of Keith Richards' original "Satisfaction" riff, but only one time each
(2:12) Backup vocalists begin chanting "Satisfaction"

See my point? By the end of the song, you're listening to (a) a strange drumbeat, (b, c) both lead and backup vocals, (d, e, f) three different interplaying guitar lines, (g) an entirely different bass line and (h) a synth doubling one of the guitar lines. Does it offend you, yeah?

Let me quickly point out a few other signs that this band is extremely bright and SHOULD'VE STUCK TO GUITAR MUSIC BECAUSE THEY WERE REALLY REALLY GOOD AT IT, THE ASSHOLES:

- "Space Junk" begins as the most beautiful rock song in the world, combining gorgeous bass chords, right-speaker guitar harmonics and a lovely little left-speaker guitar lick. It repeats and repeats, so beautiful. Then suddenly, at 0:39, the drumbeat becomes choppy and both guitars switch to a disturbing set of rise-and-fall dark notes -- as the bass chords continue to be beautiful! So for 55 seconds, you're stuck in a purgatory of anxious pleasure-pain (complete with signals and radio noise) until finally, at 1:30, when you can't take any damn more, the drumbeat and beauty return! (which is probably inappropriate since the song is about a woman being crushed to death by a falling satellite, but let's not quibble together)

- "Jocko Homo" is one of the most bizarre rock songs ever recorded. It's not just the 7/4 time signature or loony guitar/synth call-response riff; it's everything! The whole song just pip-pip-pips along like a half-finished children's song until halfway through when it turns into a Disco Glam Cartoon! This song is not new wave; it's FUCKED wave. It's also one of the best songs they've ever written. (If you don't recognize the title, this is the "Are we not men? We are Devo!" song)

- "Too Much Paranoias" NEVER gets going, just piling stress on top of stress with its mix of skrankly circular guitar riff and bendy tortured-instrument racket. (Is that warped two-note elephant sneeze meant to be taken as a bass line!?)

- The "Gut Feeling" riff is as dark as anything Blue Oyster Cult ever recorded. If you like '70s rock even a little bit, this simmering five-chord arpeggio will sear your eyeballs out your ear. Then the treated piano accompaniment will sear your nose out your knee!

- The verses of "Sloppy (I Saw My Baby Getting)" feature a vocal 'hook' so retarded - YES, RETARDED - that it competes with Shannon Selberg's entire discography. And that's saying something! (unless you don't know who Shannon Selberg is, in which case it's not saying anything at all)

- After ten songs of loud bombastic rock and vibrant quirkiness, they finish the album with "Shrivel Up," a subdued yet uptempo piece of creepy surf-spy-sci-fi rock that leaves chill bumps on your arm even as you tap your dancey foot to it.

I cannot tell you how much I love this album. Let me conclude by quickly telling you about how I wound up buying it in the first place. See, as a kid, I always knew them as the "Whip It" band - nerdy keyboard geeks similar to the B-52's. But then at age 15 at the height of my Ramones obsession, I bought the Rock 'N Roll High School soundtrack and discovered the Devo song "Come Back Jonee." "Holy bejeezus," I exclaimed, theoretically. "That can't be Devo -- it's two guitars playing a hooky western-tinged rock'n'roll song! Is this track listing in an improper order? Am I actually listening to Todd Rundgren's 'A Dream Goes On Forever'?"

Shortly thereafter, I was reintroduced to "Jocko Homo" and realized for the first time how truly bizarre it is. Upon learning that both songs were on the same album, I decided, "Heck, I'd might as well buy it, I guess. Might as well; can't dance." Then the next thing you know, EVERY GODDAMN SONG ON IT RULES!!!! except maybe "Slap Your Mammy" but that's only like 40 seconds long YOU HEAR ME???? RULES!!!!

Then they became nerdy keyboard geeks.

Reader Comments
I learned about them the opposite way you did. I remember them when this album came out. I absolutely hated them and still kinda do. They seemed like a bad version of what other bands were doing (e.g. Gary Newman). Later when "Whip It" came out, I was shocked that they could write a good song. The past 30 years haven't changed my opinion much although my hate mellowed to mere dislike. I'll admit that I have never given any of their post 1980 albums a chance though.
Well Marky, you got it right with the ten red dots for this album. Also I noticed you actually reviewed the album, take note regular readers of mark’s pringle dot com, this album is so good that Mark actually wrote a real review.

Satisfaction is THE best cover of a song ever. They ripped the song apart and put it back together in such a strange and wonderful way. There is so much more to DEVO than just “whip it,” everyone should own this album.
I have this album and Devo's "Greatest Hits" (which, if it had included "Uncontrollable Urge" it would be the only Devo CD I would need).

The one thing I remember about Devo all my life was how whenever they were brought up, the word just about EVERYONE would use to describe them was "weird." Devo? They're weird. Hey, do you remember that band that did "Whip It?" Yeah, those wierd guys wit the flower pots on their heads?

Always "weird" and I can understand why.

That said, I give them credit, they really went outside the box.

Are We Not Men? is one of those albums that takes SEVERAL listens to really wrap your head around (not unlike "Generic Flipper" or PILs "Second Edition") but once you do you're glad you gave it that much time. Its great, even if it isn't accessable.

Incidentally, my favorite Devo song to this day is "Uncontrollable Urge" so maybe I'm not the type of Devo fan I should be. Regardless, what an awesome song, probably the best job they did of ever really "rocking out."

Incidentally Mark, have you ever heard of Fu Manchu's version of "Freedom Of Choice?" It may not be the best Devo song, but it translates REALLY well into a big fuzzy stoner rock song. If you have the means to download it, you should.

Speaking of stoner rock, when are we gonna see some Kyuss and/or Queens Of The Stone Age reviews?
wow mark! you really developed an ear for song structures and the little details. it makes me listen to "Satisfaction" in a complete new way. good review! in fact, the whole DEVO page is pretty good. i like the next one better, but Space Junk, Mongoloid and Uncontralable Urge alone make a pretty good album!
What a fantastic album! I never knew anything about Devo until a year ago or so, aside from "Whip It" (a song that always annoyed me and deterred me from investigating their work any further, as they seemed like a novelty or joke band). I had the chance to see them at the Puyallup Fair in WA with a few friends, and I half-heartedly attended. Had to laugh at the fools in the audience wearing yellow jump suits and flower pots on their heads (energy domes, ha!) However, by the end of the show, I was left wanting more. I thought wow, these guys still have the energy to put on an exciting show, and even better, they have some great songs!

My girlfriend told me about having this album on vinyl, so I gave it a listen. Man, I was blown away. BLOWN! This is the same band that did that horrid song that I hated? I don't hate it anymore, but it still doesn't compare to the genius of this album. From the opening guitar riff of "Uncontrollable Urge" to the very end, it doesn't let up. "Jocko Homo" is my absolute favorite song, weird as it is. Catchy as heck and extremely well-performed, this album set the bar high. Too bad they didn't stick to their guns and allowed their music to be influenced by the horrid trends of the early 80's (keyboards, etc.) I honestly believe they were simply trying to be innovative, but really, most of their output sounds really dated now. Not this one though. Get it!
I can understand your fascination with this album. It's possibly the very finest New Wave album ever released and definitely one of the 70's most creative efforts. I had pretty much the same obsession with it when I first bought it and I still haven't tired of it after like 50+ spins. Many great elements to this but one thing you didn't much mention is the drumming, those tight and nervous rhythms that hold it all apart - Alan Myers never got the credit he deserved and is the one thing I really do miss about "modern" Devo (although they basically stopped using him like four albums in anyway)
this album made me a devo nut for about 2 or 3 years as I bought into the philosophy, bought up the albums, videos, etc. I just bought it again on vinyl and it's still an absolute gem, one of the finest and I'm so glad you awarded it the highest grade possible except for one thing.... how on earth is the one part of the album you don't like the 40 second, 3 chord punk part where everyone starts pogoing to it? It's the perfect end that crescendo part of "Gut Feeling"! The song wouldn't work without it! arrrghhhh, you and your contradictions!!!!

LW, The Right Wing Liberal
This album is a watershed. But I came by it by actually watching them on Saturday Night Live - WHAT THE HELL IS THIS!! DISCO SUCKS! And these boys have a plan. My second wife HATED them (she was too busy with, well, if you think most mid 70's music was CRAP, imagine mid-seventies GIRL music - although Joni Mitchell's big album - I forget it's name - was actually quite brilliant).

I immediatly went out and bought this Devo albumn (I prefer to refer to it as the One Size Fits All album). I never looked back - well I do if I'm a bottom - From the first song Uncontrollable Urge (a SLY SLY SLY parody of the Beatles, I Want To Hold Your Hand) all the way over to Gut Feeling (A Psuedo-Ventures buildup of animalistic proportions) and on and on. And Satesfaction? I never had much use for the Stones, but Devo made me understand this song.

I get annoyed with people who won't listen to Devo because of Whip It. It's like not listening to Oingo Boingo because of Weird Science. Or Weezer because of the Sweater Song (I thought you'd like that last one Mark) The Industry wants (S)HIT-Makers, in fact I'm avoiding American Idle playing on upstairs as we speak. And you musical snobs can piss off as well.

Some don't like Devo because they don't like "electronic music". I'll surprise you - In general I don't like electronic music much either. But I LOVE and respect Devo - At least up until the 80's. Devo was not, as has been pointed out, ripping of early electronic music. If you want to say they were stealing anyones style it would be most proper to mention "traditional" Japanese rock of the 60's and 70's. In other words, just what you'd like to hear in a guitar/metal band but something is not quite right. It's more than coincidence that some of their greatest fans happen to be Japanese - The Plastics and Polysics being the better ones.

It's like my butt-buddies Sparks. I play Woofers for someone and they say - "Oh, they ripped off queen". - Yeah 10 times better and at least 4 years earlier. Give me strength.

Some day Devo will get the credit they deserve.

Add your thoughts?

Duty Now For The Future - Warner Bros. 1979
Rating = 9

Near my home there lives a Brazilian restaurant, one at which my wife and I will occasionally choose to dine. Unfortunately there has been a pattern lately of extremely annoying people sitting next to us, ruining our meal with their faulty personalities. I will now present textual imitations of three recent dining neighbors at said establishment.

The 50-Year-Old Woman Who Absolutely Despises Her Live-In Mother
Woman: This is a really nice place. It's nice to get out.
Mother: Oh boy! It all looks so good.

The Guy Who Lets His Baby Walk All Over The Restaurant Because He's A Friend Of The Owners
(*chuckles lightly as baby toddles over to a dining couple and grabs their table with its disgusting filthy baby hands, probably covered in shit*)

The Desperate Single Woman And Her Obviously In-The-Closet Boyfriend
He: Oh, this place is so cute. It's darling.
She: Oh, I love you. Sweetie? You look so handsome.
He: Oh, that dessert looks adorable!
She: Can I tell you something, sweetie? When we have kids, I'll take care of them. Oh sweetie, I love you.

So you see, sometimes eating at a Brazilian restaurant just doesn't pay off! However, what DOES pay off is giving the second Devo album multiple listens. Because if you go in expecting Q: Are We Still Men? A: We Remain Devo!, you're going to come out expecting a punch in the mouth. You see, unlike its (at least SOMEWHAT) friendly guitar-driven predecessor, Duty Now is a cold synthetic journey into dehumanization. Thankfully, it's also genius and bustin' with hooks!

It's not just that the album begins with a Rollerball reference; you could say the same thing about most Beatles albums (ex. "I Wanna Hold Your Rollerball," "Two Of Us Trying To Smash Each Other In The Face With A Spiked Glove," "Back In The Corporation Run By John Houseman"

no no hang on these get really funny in a second

"Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts James Caan," "Magical My

No, it's that the songs are DARK! If you're a Talking Heads fan, you might think of this as Devo's Fear Of Music; it reeks of brilliantly realized techno-anxiety. It's not all synths quite yet, but most of Bob Mothersbaugh's guitar parts are either disturbing chord changes or intrigue-riddled spy riffs. Furthermore, the drum patterns have a habit of clop-clopping and start-stopping to prevent your toe from tapping in a relaxed rock-esque manner. This too is quite standoffishputting, as if the album doesn't want you to be comfortable.

And then there's the subject matter. The overriding theme is the numbing effects of conformist American life: songs like "Clockout," "Wiggly World" and "Blockhead" are at least thematically not much different from what most punk bands at the time were saying. But then you get into songs like "Swelling Itching Brain," "Triumph Of The Will" and "The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprise" and things start to look a lot different. I'm no poem expert, but if I'm not nuts, "Triumph Of The Will" is the narrator's celebration of a rape he has committed (or at very least, a girl he has suckered into sleeping with him), and "The Day..." is a cheery power pop song about a man's dead girlfriend coming back to life. And is "Red Eye" about caffeine withdrawal symptoms? For that matter, WTF is "Mr. DNA" all about? You hear me? WTF? (World Trade Fenter)?

I should try to describe Mark Mothersbaugh's voice for you now, I guess. Well, he can sing in a normal tenor, but often chooses to constrict his throat, purse his lips and sing in a nervous-sounding, almost cartoony voice (ex. "nothing to do" would become "nothing too doo"). Basically he likes to give the songs personality, which I guess might turn some people off (particularly when he shouts "MEOW MEOW MEOW MEOW!" at the top of his range in "Pink Pussycat'), but to me it's just another delightful quirk of their sound. And if it's voices other than Mark Mothersbaugh's that you're after, you'll enjoy hearing his brother Bob sing lead on the semi-cover of "Secret Agent Man," followed by Gerald, Mark and Bob trading verses in "Smart Patrol" (which features one of my favorite Devo lyrics of all time: "Nobody around here understands my potato!").

This album is astonishingly smart, well-written and full of catchy keyboard and guitar lines. If I didn't love its predecessor so darn much, this would be an easy 10. Also, I kinda can't stand "The Day My Baby Gave Me A Surprize." I realize the music is purposely generic to better clash with the sick lyrics, but its melodic simplicity and stupidity also clash with the intelligence of the songs surrounding it.

And come on, you'd have to be genuinely clinically INSANE to not get at least slightly annoyed by "Pink Pussycat." I think even Mark Mothersbaugh knew that as he was laying down the vocals.

But the other 11 songs are GRATE. GRATE GRATE SONGS that you must own now.

Reader Comments
"Smart Patrol/MR DNA" is, in whole or part, the best song on this album and possibly of Devo's career. I always thought MR DNA was about sperm - a first person (sperm) account of shooting one's load (some are kamikaze, some are dna - "okay we got a lot to give", "here to spread some genes now",) Regardless, this album is better than "Q: Are we not men?" but it's probably best to buy that one or Freedom first.

I honestly never thought of it that way. There is one line in the beginning: "i wanna end this prophylactic tour" - never really thought about what that meant until now. Come to think of it many of early Devo's lyrics are fairly heavyhanded and cryptic. Agreed that this is their finest tune, although maybe "Gut Feeling" takes that honor.
there's no mention on this devo page of "penetration in the centerfold". it's a bonus track on the duty now cd and one of their best songs
not to mention "soo bawlz", b-side to "secret agent man", sorry about the overload of comments; I just bought Duty Now on vinyl as well and I'm all excited partly because owning Devo records is WAY cooler than cds and because the original virgin CD master of Duty for the Future sucks ass - it was mastered so quietly that I thought Duty now was worth no more than a 7! I'm so glad I was wrong as I've been listening to it quite a bit lately!

And thanks to the comment on "Mr. DNA". It's something I never would have thought of!

Add your thoughts?

Freedom Of Choice - Warner Bros. 1980
Rating = 8

Now THIS is new wave! Radio-ready hitmaking new wave! The sound is streamlined, the songs are simplified, the synths are synthesizing, the beats are stiff and bouncy, the electronic pulses are pulsating, and the mood is up! up! up! Also the melodies are great, but come on where was I going to put that in the last sentence.

The hit was the wonderfully catchy classic "Whip It," but it could've just as easily been the three-note pop-rock gem "Girl U Want," the super-anthemic "Gates Of Steel" or any of several other strong tracks. Despite the 'message' undertones of the lyrics, Freedom Of Choice's music is unceasingly upbeat, uptempo and uptastic, with the oddball and slightly creepy "That's Pep!" the only reminder that the band released a masterpiece of alienation just one year earlier. In other words, you know how Q. Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! was half a Big Shiny Ball of Sunlight and half a strange world of menacing robot people? Its follow-ups featured a similar split -- but across two albums. Just as Duty Now For The Future was almost entirely an eerie synthetic world of anxiety, Freedom Of Choice wants you to get up off your flabby lardass and dance with a smile!

Once again only a handful of songs are guitar-focused, the album mostly driven by the pulsebeats, squiggles and beep-boops of the band's synthesizer collection. But pop melody? Hit potential? Herky-jerky new wave pep? Many of these items can be found herein with only an ear as proof! And sure, a few songs can only be described as 'lesser' ("Mr. B's Ballroom," "It's Not Right," the title track), but that's no reason to stop tapping your dance foot at them.

Look, for some reason this review just isn't happening right now. I'll finish it up later tonight.

Okay. You know the Electric Six song "Gay Bar"? The only reason that song exists is because singer Dick Valentine was in a bar one night and heard the jukebox playing a Devo song that he could've sworn was saying "She's just a girl - just a girl - in a gay bar!"

Obviously Mark Mothersbaugh was actually saying "Girl U Want," but the way he combines "Girl" and "U" into the phrase "guh-ay" could obviously have influenced Mr. Valentine to write a song about a "guh-ay bar." Listen and see how much you'll agree with the truth of honesty and rightness, as far as correct things go.

This album deserved more hits, but it did NOT deserve Devo getting worse and worse afterwards. They were geniuses. What the motherfucking frig happened?

Okay, this review still isn't happening.

Reader Comments
cocaine happened.

clearly you haven't read their biography Are We Not Men, We Are Devo...

Add your thoughts?

Live 1980 DualDisc - Music Video Distributors 2005
Rating = 8

Look, I've got a message for all the people in the world, and it's called "Shut up!"

JOB INTERVIEW PERSON: "Hi Mark Prindle! I've called you in for a job interview, but guess what? There's NOT ACTUALLY A JOB AVAILABLE! We're just collecting resumes because so many talented people are out of work right now, and who knows? Maybe one of our employees will DIE, and we can call you in to replace him! Ha ha! Sorry to have gotten your hopes up! Ha ha!"

Me: "Shut up! This has happened to me like FOUR TIMES in the last two months! If you don't have an actual job opening, DON'T PUT OUT AN AD!!!!"

SNOOTY LIBERAL: "Typical American...."

Me: "Shut up! There are only two characteristics that differentiate Americans from the rest of the world: (a) rampant obesity and (b) 50-year-old men wearing white tennis shoes. If you think ignorance, arrogance, greed, violence, sexism and love of sport are exclusively American traits, try visiting any other country on the planet, asshole!"

PSYCHIATRIST LADY: "This medication is good because it helps you get more deep sleep. The older you are, the less deep sleep you get because your body is getting ready for death. Also, if you don't get up at 4:00 AM and go to bed at like 5 in the afternoon every day, your equilibrium will be off and you'll get a divorce and die alone."

Me: "Shut up! Just give me the damn prescriptions; I don't pay to hear your shitty accent."

ANYONE: "You're bald."

Me: "Shut up! I have plenty of hair; it's just clear."

So you see, sometimes in life, when things aren't going your way and it seems like you'll never get back up on that horse, when the chips are stacked against you and you're feeling down and away, when the checks are cashed and the sky is falling all around you, when you're feeling old and bloated and your shoes are covered in blood, when you're dying of rigor mortis and you can't find a shovel, when your penis keeps growing not because you're aroused but because you're in an XXX-rated Pinocchio movie, when you tell your cat to eat a mouse and it mishears you and eats your spouse, when the only thing on the TV is a reminder to pay the cable bill, when your genital crabs decide to head north for the winter, when your favorite pizza place changes its menu options from "hamburger, sausage, pepperoni" to "vegetables, dirt, urine sample," it's times like these when you have to stand up, point your finger and yell, "Shut your ass!" or whatever it was I said up there, a while back now.

If I were asked to describe a Devo concert in one word, that word would be "Choreography." And for a discolored, poorly lit and fuzzily filmed record of that choreography at the peak of its grandeur, look no further than MVD's DVD release of an old Target Video tape! In addition to excellent musical performances of 6 Q: Are We Not Men? tracks (8 if you count the bonus material), 5 Duty Now, 7 Freedom Of Choice and "Be Stiff," you are invited to enjoy such light-hearted physical antics as:

- the band performing the first 14 songs while wearing silly yellow Devo suits and red upside-down toilet hats
- lots of robotic, Coneheads-style body movements
- the band members all hopping on one leg during the intro to "Snowball"
- Mark racing around the stage, beating at his head and ripping at his clothes for "Swelling Itching Brain"
- the band hitting the front of the stage in their infamous 'diamond formation' for the end of "Uncontrollable Urge"
- Mark saying "Baby" a record-breaking 66 times in "Satisfaction"
- Mark hopping around the stage as Gerald and Bob sing "Mongoloid"
- Mark doing Jumping Jacks at the side of the stage as Gerald sings "Be Stiff"
- The band stripping down to black Devo t-shirts, tiny black shorts, red knee pads, pink socks and black shoes for the last five songs
- Mark standing between Gerald's and Bob's mic stands for the closing of "Freedom Of Choice," so that they can circle around him, trading mics for each repetition of the song title
- Gerald performing a funny little 4-step dance to accompany the four rising synth notes in "Jocko Homo"
- The stage going dark in the middle of "Jocko Homo" so that the band can leave the stage and return wearing blacklit boards reading "D," "E," "V" and "O," allowing the audience to see nothing but the letters bouncing up and down onstage in the dark
- Mark slapping himself silly during "Slap Your Mammy"
- Mark donning a blue jacket and cowboy hat for "Come Back Jonee," then proceeding to wipe his face, hair, arse and crortch with tissues before tossing them Elvis-like into the crowd
- An unidentified band member wearing an alien head mask to sing along with the set-closing "Tunnel Of Life" video
- (in the bonus material): 1979 footage of the band wearing tacky suits and visors to perform "Praying Hands" and "Shrivel Up" as their Christian altar ego 'Dove'
- (in the bonus material): Recent clips of the older, slower, greyer and heavier band performing some of their oldtimey classics, through all the fat

Being a DualDisc, the DVD also comes with an audio-only CD side, but for some reason they left "Jocko Homo" off of it so stick with the DVD side. The only performance-related complaints I would make are that the sad and beautiful "Snowball" suffers from its lack of harmony vocal (you'd think one of the other band members could've performed it; not sure why they didn't), "Satisfaction" is either missing its second guitar/synth riff or it's too quiet to hear, and "Mongoloid" is uglified by over-distorted off-key vocals (in Gerald's defense, he looks exhausted from all the previous running around). And I personally could've done without "It's Not Right" and "Freedom Of Choice" in the set list, but that's personal preference and they were touring that album after all.

In conclusion, Mark Mothersbaugh does not smile at any point during this performance. Is he an unhappy man?

Reader Comments
I bought this DVD the first day it came out. Loved the dualdisc format but what gives with "Jocko Homo" missing? It's like the centerpiece of their live show. The performance is pretty amazing nonetheless. The guys were skinny and dorky but good lord could they rock. You'd be hard pressed to find a more energetic New Wave group (short of Polysics of course). Dunno if Mark is an unhappy man but he is just not a smiley guy.

Add your thoughts?

New Traditionalists - Warner Bros. 1981
Rating = 7

Well, it's been another banner week for the economy. The Guiding Light was cancelled after 75 years. Blender magazine went under. Closer to home, my unemployment site posted a chart showing that New York has lost 150,000 private sector jobs in the past six months. My local Cambodian restaurant and Sassy's Sliders both closed shop this week. I have two lawyer acquaintances who were both laid off this week. Can you imagine getting all the way through law school only to find yourself unemployed in your mid-30's? There's clearly only one solution: we must all become big rock stars.

I'm willing to do my part. I'm too old and decrepit to play music anymore, but you young virile people are in luck because way back in high school when I was churning out all those chart-topping Low-Maintenance Perennials songs ("Toss Me A Two-Slit Interference Pattern From The Roof Of The Rod Stewart Building," "I Wanna Rent An Apartment On Nell Carter's Buttocks" and so forth), I also wrote several songs that for one reason or another were rejected and left unused. At the time, we felt they were simply too ahead of their time, but technology has caught up and today's young people would, I feel, get a major kick out of some of this great third-rate material. I have my dusty old lyric notebook in front of me right now, so first come first served! These lyrics are YOURS, young people! Just be sure to credit "Mark Prindle" and forward all royalties to "Mark Prindle."

by The Young Mark Prindle
"I just went jogging
I smell like I just shat
I gotta take a shower
Or at least go find a cat
(You know - so he can lick me clean? Get it? Get it?)"

by Mark Prindle Back In High School
90 dots per second for four minutes
Count them to make sure it worked right!

by Mark Prindle A Long Time Ago When He Didn't Like Neil Young Yet
"One day in 1961, a talented young man by the name o' Neil
Walked outside to look at a tree and maybe have a slice of veal
When along came God right there in the path, said 'Sonny, I'll make a deal with you.
Sell me your soul and I promise you'll be huge, a legend - a rich one too!'
Neil said 'sure' and zap-a-doo all his creative ideas were whisked away
The next day he wrote 'Souther Man' and the rest is historay!
Neil Young sucks Neil Young blows
Pearl Jam sucks Ooo! Look at my nose!"

by Mark 'College Did Not Contribute to Maturity' Prindle
"Boring ol' teacher, makin' my sleepy
Chaucer, pshaw, fip my bleepy
Gurp bjing fringle glap
Ooo! I fell asleep and took a crap!"

by College-Aged Mark Prindle Perhaps A Bit Too Obsessed With Feces
"And when I asked for a separate room
It was late at night and we'd been driving since noon
But if I'd known how that would sound to you
I would bury my face in a puddle of doggy doo
It's true that I stole your lighter and yeah I lost the map
But man I wanna rub my face in a Bundt cake fulla crap
But you never been a waste of my time - it's never been a drag
So take a deep breath and count back from ten,
and maybe I can bury my face in a horse's butt until it has to poop all over me!

by Mark "This One Just Didn't Work At All" Prindle Of Youth
"I chew a tobacco leaf. Sometimes I chew it in front of a policeman.
He seems not to mind so I light up my Ice bong.
He chuckles in an official-sounding manner and pulls out a revolver.
I get a bit nervous, decide to just let it be and try to think of something new to do. Suddenly I realize that the policeman is following me down the middle of the abbey.....road. I get extremely nervous and turn the corner quickly, quickly. And thank god for my rubber soles cuz I was haulin' butt! 'Help' I begin yellin', 'I need somebody!' It's been a hard day's night and I'll never be your beast of burden. Then some girls helped me out - It was a very emotional rescue - then one of the girls said, "Remember me?' I look at her close and shout 'Tattoo? You? You're Tattoo?' Add she says, 'Yep! When I got bored with Fantasy Island, I faked a suicide, got a sex change and went UNDERCOVER. It was DIRTY WORK, I admit it. I was Black And Blue! But between the buttons, I don't have a penis anymore! Not that I had much of one anyway but regardless.... Then I realized that Herve Villachaize had decided to just let it bleed! Not wanting to get Sticky Fingers, I decided to catch The Magic Bus and go hang out with my friend Thomas. But when I arrived at his house, he shouted, 'Who are you? Who? Who? Who? Who?' I leered at him and shouted, 'Sell out! It's hard to believe I hung out with you for so long! Who's next? Huh? And what about FACE DANCES, huh? You think anyone actually liked that 'you better you bet' crap? I seem to have forgotten my initial point."

by Timeless Author Of Ever-Relevant Material Mark Prindle
"If you want to stick a knife in my back, just go ahead now
If you want to smoke some crack, just go ahead now
If you used to play wussy disco, just go ahead now
If your new album sounds like a boring thrash band, just go ahead now
If you can't do interesting stuff like the Revolting Cocks and Lard and Pailhead and PTP and Acid Horse and 1000 Homo DJs anymore because you signed some dumbass contract that says you can only put stuff out on Warner Brothers, just go ahead now....
Oh, and if you wanna be on Lollapalooza 2 with Pearl Jam, go screw yourself now"

by An Extremely Talented Young Lyricist By The Name Of Mark Prindle
"Tiny bald guy with a nasally voice
Grabbed me by the duodenum and threw me in the cellar
Tossed me down bones and abunch of interchangeable ballads
What a cold heartless bald chubby piece of crap fellow!"

by Mark Prindle Back Before He Went Bald
"I know your watch says 6:34, but mine says 6:30, so open the door!
You let on the fish with the garbledy fin
You let on the rat with the ticks on his shin!
You let on the mayor with his big smelly wife
You let on the Bundt cake for the rest of its life!
You let on the biscuit that ate your career
You let on the guy who used to play bass for FEAR!
You let on a mechanic who majored in P.E.
You let on a foreigner, so let on me!
Yes let on me! yes let on me! Yes let on me!
Please i'm startin' to pee!"

by ? And The Mysterious Songwriter Mark Prindle
"Stupid broad has two eyes
A nose and a mouth
and a full beard and mustache
Fuckin' whore!
Face bitch douche!"

by You Should See How Insane My Handwriting Is On This One, I Must've Been Pretty Annoyed
"Look at that! Look at that!
A show about a funny couple! And their funny friend!
And they work at offices with other very funny people and everythere they go, they are greeted with a bit of 90's-sounding programmed music and every time they tell a joke, a bunch of people who are in the room, but who we, the audience, can't see, laugh the exact same group laugh!
I'm not leaving the house anymore!"

by The Fuck Was I Thinking?
"I got no problem with bread."

by Bill Hilarious And The Laughter Combo
"The lighter the object, the lonelier the cockpit oh no
The heavier the wings, man, the sooner the thing lands oh yea!
The closer the mountain, the survival I'm doubtin' oh no
The flamier the explosion, the welcomer the ocean oh yea!"

by Steve Funny And The Enjoyment Band
"Doug, a hole in my backyard, always steals my wife
Sucks her down, gets her dirty, and spits her out without life.
I prop her in a chair, give her mouth-to-mouth and then puke down her throat at the mere thought of having to press my lips against hers.
Then she wakes up, pukes my puke + her puke all over my already puke-covered face,
then chuckles and says, 'Darn that Doug, a hole!'
Then we worship some drugs, and puke on an old lady."

by Look, There's A Reason We REJECTED All These Songs
"This is an anti-drug shout-out!
Drugs - the television of a nation
Breeding ignorance and giving cash to Haitians on (repeat)
You been smokin' that reefer - gettin' so high
Snortin' that coke - man it's makin' you fly
And you're takin' that heroin - you feel so good
And you're trippin' on acid - like you think you should on
(repeat chorus twice)
Usin' PCP like it's goin' out of style
And smokin' that crack - you feel good for a while!
And doin' that ice - aww man is you ever!
And drinkin' that 40 - cuz it's tasty and inexpensive!
(repeat chorus twice)
You know, truth be told, I intended this song to be a bit more negative in tone."

by Extremely Mixed Messages Prindle
"Jeff the anteater hopped on the bus
And saw all the ugly people staring at us
He thought to himself 'Oh crappedy doo!
I forgot to check the mirror! And deodorant too!
I sure hope my clearasil is bright white and flaky!
And I'd sure like my hair to be dandruffed and cakey!
I hope I've got a big nosehair covered with snot
And I hope my HIV blood starts to flow and won't clot
I sure hope my penis is dangling out
And I want my teeth reeking with dog poop and sauerkraut
And I sure hope my boils are oozing with pus
Cuz I hate all these assholes and pricks on the bus!'
Then the people around him grew thick with disgust
And threw the fucking Communist anteater the hell off the bus.
And he went on his merry way - off to his work
thinking 'I'm such an individual' - what a motherfuckin jerk."

by Mark Youngperson
"I feel so lucky
I got some Starburst
I got some Starburst
And nose hair too."

by The Dave Clark Five
"Catch the wave!
Like that's even possible
Bastard would probably just diffract around your hand...
Fucker.... ...Bitch....
Shit.... Goddammit"

by Mark 'Because They Film During The Day, Dumbshit' Prindle
"If early to bed and early to rise makes a man healthy wealthy and wise, why is Donald Trump on late-night talk shows all the time?"

by Young Defiant Mark Prindle Out There Breaking Those PC Taboos and Ruffling Feathers
"Asshole Radio stole my wife
Asshole Radio ruined my life
Asshole Radio only plays country
Asshole Radio can suck my butt hair!
Asshole Radio, Asshole Radio
Asshole Radio, Hank Williams Jr!"

by Jeeves
Jewish you were in Brooklyn?
Way back when the Dodgers were here?"

by Wishful Thinking McGee
"10,000 Elvis fans can't be wrong
They all say we're a bunch of schmucks
10,00 Elvis fans can't be wrong
They all say our music sucks
But would you take the word of someone
who likes 'Heartbreak Hotel'?
I say anyone who likes 'Hound Dog'
can go straight to Hell!"

by Mark Prindle, Age 63
"I may not be able to play guitar for shit
but Rick Derringer's a tiny little man
Jimmy Page has gained about 700 pounds
And Hendrix is dead, so tickle my dangling eggbag."

by Mark Prindle
"Jim Henson passed away
The children mourned night and day
Hey kids! Everything's okay!
Kermit lives on!
That's right, Kermit Schaefer lives on
The originator of 'America's Funniest Bloopers' lives on!
Henson may be dead, but Kermit lives on!
Well...unless Kermit's dead too...
But regardless, Gonzo lives on!
Hunter S. Thompson lives on! He.... ahh...
Frank Oz lives on! Yeah!"

by Maybe This Is Where My Recurring Nightmare Is Coming From!
"I'm gonna flunk the test
Cuz I never pay attention
I'm always writing songs
I'll probably get detention
I'll study it at home
Which probably won't be enough
I don't pay attention in chemistry....
And I'm completely naked.
Actually I'm not, but I figured the song would be mediocre without a surprise ending."

By Mark "Teenaged Long-Haired Guy" Prindle
'You know, opinions are like assholes - everyone has one and they all stink!'
Middle-aged bald guys think that's funny.
'My wife was worried about my drinking, she said to me 'you're gonna go past your limit one day' and I replied, 'I never reach my limit! I always pass out first!'
Middle-aged bald guys think that's funny.
'What are you studying at college? Are you taking Female Anatomy In Braille yet?'
Middle-aged bald guys think that's funny.
'Why did the middle-aged bald guy cross the road?
Cause I was chasing the fucker with a big ol' pneumatic drill, and I had his 90-year-old grandmother strapped to my penis!'
I think that's funny.
But only because it seems like it happens every couple of days."

by MP Freely
"I'm on a roll
So many ideas
I'm on a roll
Oh no! Here comes a knife with some jelly on it!
Perhaps my roll has ended."

by Timeless Humor Jim
"I named my bird Sinead
Now he won't eat his food
He boycotts every meal
Puts me in a foul mood!
He refuses to fly!
He won't whistle the National Anthem!
He shaved off all his feathers!
Oh, why didn't I just name him Fuckhead like my wife wanted?"

by Mark Prindle
"I was reading 'Les Miserables'
When my mother came in
She said 'That's a good book!'
And she hopped on in.
Now my mother's in a bind
That pun was damn predictable
My mother's in a bind
I rhymed 'in' with 'in'"

by Mark "America's Punnyman" Prindle
"My Buick hears everything I say...
He's got... wow."

by Mark "Sorry About That" Prindle
"Tears and flapdoodle, flapdoodle and tears
This may be a lousy song, but at least it's not 'Careers.'"

by Mark Prindle At 16
"You're all idiots
For being who you are
You're all idiots
Can I have your car?"

by Mark Prindle
"Love is real
Real is love
Love is feeling
Feeling love
Love is wanting
To be loved
Well okay, 'LOVE by John Lennon'
Screw you, it's not like he's gonna know."

by Your Friend And Mine, Mr. Mark Prindle As A Young Man
"It was a nice building, it kept its restrooms clean
It was the best damn educational center I ever seen
Now the walls are shaking, the tests ain't takin'
The kids ain't wakin', and your penis is achin'
Cuz-a you shook my school all night long!
(etc.) Urgh."

by No Clue Why I Wrote This One
"Went down to the Waffle House
Ordered coffee and some hash browns
The Waitress said, 'Hash browns? What are you?
Some kind of meshuginna?'
Hash brown lady, Hash brown lady
Hash brown lady, stick your finger up my nose"

by Halle and Oats
It's the method of modern laundry
You take the Tide and you smear it on your shirt
Then you squirt on some ketchup and smear in some dirt
Then you jump in a swimming pool and spin til you're dizzy
Then you toss in a rabid bobcat til the water gets all fizzy
Then you hire Charlton Heston to.... Oh I'm sorry, did I say Charleton Heston? I meant Charlton 'The Asshole' Heston
Then you're done with your laundry, so fuck off."

by The Low-Maintenance Perennials As An Entire Unit And Force
"He's not really my dad.
He's a faux pas."

By Nirvana Reference
"I messed up.
I committed a faux pas.
I know he wasn't really my dad, but that's no reason to lock him up in an institution.
Kiss kiss my faux pas's lips."

by Chrys An' The Mums
"Legfellow has so many legs
I counted sixty-four last time I checked
But he dances like a dream
And the ladies - how they dream.
They dream of Legfellow - Legfellow
The floor is getting yellow
due to Legfellow - Legfellow
The floor is getting yellow? Why is the f....
Oh I'm sorry. That's Peenfellow.
Please just stay mellow."

by Jim Effort
"Does anybody remember 'Rolo' candy?
It was so.....
I just gave up on this one."

by Steve Thoughtful
"Expos signed a new player
Used to be a lawyer
Defended Jabez Stone against Stan
But he can't catch a fly ball for crap
Point Point Point Point Point Point Point Point
Point Point Point Point Point Point Point Point
There's really no one on the Expos named Daniel Webster
This song has no point"

by (*sigh*)
"I seem to be growing a beard on my elbow
Beard on my elbow, beard on my elbow
I seem to be growing a beard on my elbow
Oh never mind - It's Charles Manson"

by A Review Of A Devo Album
"Someone spiked the punch
Ahh! my tongue is bleeding! AAH!!!!!"

by The Beatles
"Jesus is a blow
Moses is a screw
Christians are morons
And I'm feeling blue.
Tell me oh - what can I do?"

by Was I Drunk When I Wrote This? I Scrawled It Across An Entire Sheet Of Paper!
"Payin' my government, offendin' my principles
Here's a bird, Fuck
some guy up the A-hole"

by At Least I Realized It Even At The Time
"I don't wanna be a 4'3 black guy
I'd much rather speak fluent Japanese
I don't wanna be friends with Conrad Bain
My God this is lame."

by Yeesh
"Retard calculator - GOT NO 5!
Retard calculator - Makes me mad!
Retar ahah...."

"Roses are red, violets are blue
Sugar is sweet, and I gotta pee
It's Valentine's Day, It's Valentine's Day
It's Valentine's Day, and I like beer"

by I Have No Recollection Of Writing This Song, But It's In My Handwriting So Whatever
"Everyone has a red bucket
I want a red bucket too
Why can't I have a red bucket?
Why can't I... Ah fuck it.
Hey, poet and I didn't know it!
Well okay I did"

by Another Failure
"I like hammering nails
into pieces of wood
I imagine I'm nailing your wrists to a cross
Boy I wish I could
VIOLENCE! (Guitar solo)"

by The Poet Laureate Of England
"Salad time I want more
Thousand Island and Ranch
Yea Yea Full of it aplenty

by The Author Of "Henson May Be Dead, But Kermit Lives On"
Elvis never died! He's alive and well!
He's singin' all those tunes we always thought were swell!
Elvis is alive! Tell your ma and pa!
Elvis is alive! And by Elvis, I mean Elvis Costello."

by Rockin' Marky Prindletone
"Holy jump up and sit down! My toe is stuck in the fireplace!
Get outta there you! Painful yapadoopee
Shoopybopboparimbamboom Gonna
get my toe get my toe get my toe
Hey mama gonna yea yea just like I said before (DISCONTINUED)"

by Guess Who?
"God I'm strong I can lift a car
I do alotta steroids ARRRRHHHH!
My arm just fell off"

by The Guess Who, Particularly Burton Cummings
"I was havin' sex with your wife
When I burped for five seconds straight
She reached climax about 70 times
Man I screwed her great!
Erotic eructation Erotic eructation Erotic eructation
A result of drinking vaginal secretions"

by Mark Prickle
"I went to meet the pope
He said, 'Go piss up a rope!'
Never mind."

by M. Prindle
"Greg Louganis Greg Louganis Greg Louganis

And here are some great song titles that were unfortunately attached to lyrics even worse than those you've just read:
PG. 354 NO. 1-4 ODD,17 PG. 348 NO. 12

New Traditionalists kicks off with the lyric "We're through being cool" -- and never have truer words been spoken! There are a few different factions of Devo fans: one feels that they lost it after Freedom Of Choice, a much larger one feels that New Traditionalists was their last gasp, and if you search around long enough, you'll even find people (like me) who manage to derive enjoyment from the much-derided Oh, No! It's Devo. However, NOBODY defends the three studio albums they released after that one. They are unfathomably awful.

While Freedom Of Choice was the quintessential "new wave" record, New Traditionalists marks the band's conversion into a "synthpop" band. Aside from the silly funky leadoff track, there is very little personality or quirkiness on display here. It's just a selection of mature pop compositions performed on fuzzy bop bop beep beep synths, with the guitar merely contributing incidental coloring around the corners. Nothing after the first song screams "Devo"; it could be the Human League, it could be Trans Am, it could be any old band in love with that slick '80s keyboard sound. Mark Mothersbaugh even mostly just sings everything in his normal voice!

However, what saves the record from boring the living hell out of the world is that the band's songwriting ability had not yet disappeared down the commode of incompetence. Though not the most exciting or innovative record in history, New Traditionalists does feature some honestly well-written synthpop material. The snappy robot-groove "Through Being Cool," the feel-good synthbass-driven "Pity You," the Eastern-tinged harmony-vocaled "Soft Things," the dramatic anthem "Going Under," the pretty as a girl pop classic "Beautiful World" -- these are songs to hear and enjoy with an '80s memory in your heart and a mature pair of eyeglasses on your face. Don't ask me why "Jerkin' Back 'N' Forth" was a single though; it sounds like a terrible "Weird Al" Yankovic stylistic parody of Devo.

I could say more about how Devo made this album more 'serious' to avoid being pigeonholed as a novelty band after the success of "Whip It," but I figure heck you could read that stuff on Wikipedia just like I did. Why should I go through the trouble of repeating the whole damn thing like a retarded parrot? I mean, I love retarded parrots, but come on.

Reader Comments
If you really think you aren't being funny enough, those song lyrics and titles alone made me crack up. I think I'm gonna go pen my own lyrics for "Poop Is A Palindrome" and "She Blinded Me With A Philips Screwdriver" and become a famous rock star. Both songs are going on my greatest hits next to my dad's classic love song "You Don't Sweat That Much (For A Fat Chick)."
It's not as great as Freedom of Choice, but some of the material is ace here. I really wish the production was better so that the best songs like "Race of Doom" could be more full-sounding. I am with you that I like Oh, No! a bit too but this was really their last gasp of greatness.

Add your thoughts?

Oh, No! It's Devo - Warner Bros. 1982
Rating = 6

I guess they changed their mind about the whole "novelty band" thing because this album both looks and sounds like it's geared towards six-year-olds. Starting with the ridiculous cover, we've got Mark Mothersbaugh wearing a pair of novelty eyeglasses (with plastic 'sinister' eyebrows attached) and holding up a photo of the entire band as potatoes. Yes, it's Devo's heads and necks attached to a bunch of potatoes, just zooming down the road. Incidentally, they were all in their 30s by this point.

Turn the record over and by gum it's the lyrics! Let's see what sharp satirical insights they have for us this time:

This is Devo
We would like to say
Things go both ways....
Time out for fun!"

I can see you!
And I know what you do!
So put your hands on your face
And cover up your eyes
Don't look until I signal
Peek-a-boo! Peek-a-boo!

"We like new places that jets can't take you to
We do like music when it does what it should do
Yes o yeah
Yes o yeah
Yes (we like) o yeah (explosions)
Yes (we like) o yeah (explosions)"

"I am Cowboy Kim
Cowboy Kim I am
I am a lucky cowboy
Let me tell you why....
I'll announce the winner
on the radio
with my microphone
I do a super show!"

"I'm Speed Racer and I drive real fast!
He's Speed Racer and he drives real fast
Drive real fast, I'm gonna last!"

But that's not all -- the back cover also features a perforated picture stand, so you can display the front cover in your sitting room or play area!

Okay, I've moved on to the inner sleeve. Here we find a variety of Devo products for sale, including:

TSS 666 T-SQUARE SHIRT - Oh no! It's DEVO fashions again! Unique square neck t-shirt with custom cut sleeves is imprinted with the portrait of a shocked Daddy-Zero screaming "Oh no. It's DEVO!" Be square. Wear the t-square! (Available in black and in white)

HP 1048 DEVO HAT PIN - For fair weather spuds or those on a student budget, this red plastic relief replica of the ENERGY DOME with metal clasp bears the DEVO logo in raised white letters.

FLICKER BUTTON FB 9332 - The finest in full color, 3D images, this button demonstrates what it means to be DEVO. Heavy duty construction endures even the most violent wiggling.

(The flicker button is a woman holding up two large ovals, one reading "DE" and the other "VO." When you wiggle the button, she brings them together across her chest, making it look as if SHE HAS GIANT TITS THAT SAY "DEVO" ON THEM!!!!!!!!!!)

Then at some point I guess you can actually put the record on the turntable.

I'll warn you right now: side one is almost vomitously happy. "Time Out For Fun" and "Peek-A-Boo!" cannot POSSIBLY be intended for anybody over the age of seven; they are stupid tuneless bounce-a-longs filled with funny voices, goofy synth brapps and oversized gestures. The three remaining songs on the side at least feature actual melodies, even if they're performed on bouncy '80s synths. And happy? Good GOD, these are happy songs! Even the song about the woman who's "trapped in a silent movie" and "on the brink" sounds like a Diet Pepsi commercial, all bright major chords and feelin' good!

So Thank Christ for side two. Here's where you'll find the stranger and more thoughtful material, highlighted by bouncy new wave beats, troubled chord changes, and strangely disturbing lyrics ("Don't bother asking why a pattern never cries/Old patterns never die, they just go on and on"; "I used to plan and plot and try to live correct/Lately I do a lot of things that don't make sense"; "Somebody help me now and let me go into a deep sleep/Push me back now, let me go into a dream again/To a sleep unlike before/So deep it never ends"). Even the songs that sound like children's music ("Speed Racer" in particular) sound like music for disturbed children. And in one of the band's most infamous moves ever, the foreboding "I Desire" includes lyrics pulled from John Hinckley writings. And in one of the band's least infamous moves ever, "Weird Al" Yankovic appropriated the signature 'descending clinky note' break from "Deep Sleep" for his own Devo stylistic parody "Dare To Be Stupid."

In short, UP YOUR ASS side one, but ENJOY MY PENIS side two.

I'm 35 years old.

Incidentally, I think we all agree that it would be inappropriate for me to share with you unused Low-Maintenance Perennials lyrics that were written not by me but by friends of mine back in high school, so don't read these.

First, don't read these masterpiece outtakes by Christian Smith, who now works for a computer company:

You're a prick you're a prick
You're a prick prick prick prick
Dickhead New Kids person

He's always sleeping in my upper bunk
He's my friend Richard and he's always drunk
Very bad, very obscure pun, I'm afraid

I wouldn't be too surprised
If that last one went unsung
And I can safely surmise
This one's also not worth dung

If I were Mark
I'd have written 90 lines by now
But I'm not him
And I've only got 4 lines here

Sounds like a fair deal to me, babe
But hey, I'm just a grad of UGA
I like this party; there's plenty of drugs
And warm pools of vomit all over the rugs
The music's cool - I can dance to it
Or would if I didn't feel like shit
I'm drunk and I'm high, fucked up real well
And right now a little sex'd go down swell
So give me
Head for Busch beer Head for the bedroom
Head for Busch beer Head for the bedroom
Or would you prefer Michelob?

Sister Otto's got no pride
Mother is his father's bride
Mighty Larp is his faithful brother
And Trundle Fred's his dog
Stiff Willie is his daddy dear
Who was cut out from a log
Ahmed's got a family
Ahmed's got a family
Ahmed's got hemorrhoids too.

So just shut up you stupid spic
Or spade or wop, slant or slope
WASP or Catholic, dork or dope
Or whatever group you're in that we hate

I'd be kinder;
I might give a fuck
I'd be kinder
If you didn't suck

There's not much to this song
There's not much to this song
There's not much to this song
But the title's swell
There's not much to this song
There's not much to this song
There's not much to this song
You fucker, go to hell

As they fall over, they go clack clack clack
I guess I'll admit I like white dots on black
They keel over neat, one by one
I like playing dominoes, boy it's fun fun fun
Dominoes dominoes dominoes
Boy, I hate that "e"

I'm named Dennis Ball
My parents were stupid
I hated my monicker
So I killed them dead

Skoob skoob skoob skoob
There was a joke there someplace but I can't remember it

Kill Kim
Kill Kim
Kill the bitch
I hate her laugh
Kill Kim
Kill Kim
Kill the bitch
She deserves to die

I've got no problems
Cause I don't have friends
I insult everybody
And I don't make amends
I'm often pretty worried
About what it is I want
But I know I want you off my back
You stupid fucking cunt
I've always wanted to be like me
Got this deep-down urging to be like me
So I copy everything that I do
Cause I know I don't want to be like you
I'm a real-live, low-priced imitation me
I've got an ingrained sense
of Universal hate
A cynical attitude
That just won't abate
I've got real problems
caring about others
I'm more concerned about myself
than you, you stupid mothers

I'm bored, okay?
Fuck yourself

And now I ask you to please not read the following lyrics penned in 1990 by a 16-year-old Patrick Ku. He now works for a soda drink manufacturer.

I was walking down the hall one day
When I saw a girl coming my way
Mark fucked her up the asshole

La la la la la la
Bam! Crash! Ahh! Pow!
Uhg! Crap! Blam! Thwak!
Ka Hooey! Wham! Thud!
Hey Hey I hate Smurfs
Smurfs suck (repeat 3x)

Well, actually I really don't know what to write in this song

This is a test this is only a test
This band is conducting a test to see who the hell is still listening to the Low-Maintenance Perennials
If you are still listening
Get a life

But hold that tiger, because I also have here a few long-lost masterpieces written by Scott Haggard, who now works for a public transit firm:

Well, let's see. Alabama - Guy Hunt. Alaska - Steve Cowper. Arizona - Rose Mofford. Arkansas - Bill Clinton
I can see where this is going,
So just go ahead and shoot me.
Californ - AAAARGH!

I can't imagine a grown man named Bryan.
I can't imagine a grown man named Scott.
I can't imagine a grown man named Mike.
I can't imagine a grown man named Chris.
Nor can I imagine a grown man named Judy.
(By the way, Judith has nothing to do with this).

Hollow -
the cacophony of sounds echoes
through the nothingness.
Cavern; darkness; oblivion.
Oh, sorry. It's only a closet.

The roar of the machines,
the echo through the nothingness.
I believe that was the previous poem,
so back to those machines.
Progress is inevitable. Change -
cavern; darkness; oblivion; dammit.

This here ditty will be my last
For, as we all know, I can only name national officials. That is the only thing I'm good for.
So there. That's all folks.

If you have ears to hear, please lend them to the following unrecorded early works by Aimee Terrebonne, who is now an art teacher:

When I used to tell people that my dog's name was Mutley,
they'd ask, "Crue"?
And I'd reply, "No, she's a dog."
I never much thought that she resembled a crue,
Maybe a parrot, but not a crue.

Picked up daddy's lazy boy
I guess I mistook it for a toy
Balanced it on my nose like a seal
It relieves all the tension that I feel
Oh - I'm fidgeting with the chair
Fidgeting with the chair
Fidgeting with the chair
I forget the world; forget my cares

And who can forget longtime Low-Maintenance Perennials guitarist Matthew Terrebonne? Unfortunately, all his unrecorded songs were just terrible puns, such as:

Ink stain right there
And it's not gonna move
Maybe I'll get it dinner
since it's stain for a while

I watched a briefcase
And it was over quick

It's hour glass
We share it

Trash can! Trash can!
Trash can! But the door can't!

A stick for fighting governments
Stick acoustic up your butt
Be merry
Be jolly
I think I'll stop this song right now

I've got a bastard in my hand
Because the fish I caught took a crap

I've got two ears
Plenty of corn for everyone

Maybe this one isn't a good idea

I put the wrapping paper
On the present
Then I heard some singing
That wasn't very pleasant
A simple machine drumbeat
The occasional keyboard sound
Some plagiarised sampling
And rhyming, how profound
My wrapping paper!
Wrapping paper!
Wrapping paper sucks!

Thank you
for being after T

And where would we be without this passed-over monument by Mr. Chris Noble, who now drives a truck for a medical supplies company?

I was walking down the street
I saw a geek laying in the gutter
His nose was shoved up his ass
So I kicked (*and then it just abruptly ends*)

Finally, I'm fairly certain Sanjay Aggarwal could do without you reading this never-used high school lyric of his. I've no clue what he does for a living though:

Who the fuck is Sanjay Chong?
Mrs. Willingham is a dork
Mrs. Willingham is a dork
Mrs. Willingham is a dork

Yes, if there's one thing about high school people, it's their lyrics!

Reader Comments
Devo were never overtly political. But my memory from listening to this album many, many years ago was that they had a hate-on for Ronny Raygun. In addition to the lifted Hinckley poem/lyrics in "I Desire", "Big Mess" pokes fun at Reagan's past as a cowboy actor and radio dj. I also pick up an anti-Reagan, anti-morning in America vibe whenever I listen to 'Beautiful World" -- can't put my finger on it, just a general impression.

To add credence to this theory, Devo did start to seriously suck (i.e., suck by getting too serious) around the time of the first Reagan administration. Small price to pay for ending the cold war, I guess.


The owner of that album said it was about Ronnie, and one could make a good case for that. But apparently I stand corrected.

In interviews, DEVO claimed that the inspiration for this album was some quotes from Rolling Stone that called them "fascists" and later "clowns". So, they conceptualized the kind of album a fascist clown would make. That at least explains 'Peekaboo!' for me.
I don't know why this album has such a bad rep. Sure they don't use guitars hardly at all but this is a really good synth pop record if you ask me. I like almost every song on this album its catchy fun and enregetic. FUCK YOU PRINDLE
After spending time on the official Devo websites, I've found that the wide majority of fans actually love this album. Many of the hardcore fans even list it as their *favorite* Devo album! And their favorites off it are all the shitty songs from side 1! Isn't that insane? A lot of them even defend the 3 albums that came after! You're pretty spot on about it, but amongst Devo fans, this one's incredibly overrated

Stephen Peddigrew
A few years back, I went to the local thrift store with the last 20 bucks to my name. I was in the market for a set of "previously enjoyed" (cheap n' shitty) stereo speakers...which I found, for $17. With the last few bones, I sauntered over to the record rack.

Living in a somewhat remote part of Atlantic Canada, said rack was a landfill of Orchestra shit and disco hits compilations. But, somewhere in the pile were three (3) Devo albums for $3 each: New Traditionalists, Oh no it's Devo, and Shout. At the time, I'd never heard of any of these, only being semi-familiar with Are We Not Men and Duty Now. After looking 'em over, I assumed New Trishinlishts was the only one worth getting. I read some of the lyrics on the back of "Oh No" (where the previous owner actually used the perforated picture stand!), and figured it would be an album of kids music?! (Shout, seemed even more likely to be not worth a shit... which, as it turns out, was a good call.)

So, I went with NT... I guess that was a good choice. Later, I looked up Oh No out of curiosity. After a few listens though a certain free, intangible medium, the frigger REALLY grew on me!

I'm STILL kicking myself for missing that golden novelty opportunity?!!

P.S: I think the glasses Mark's wearing on the cover are actually those novelty chink specs (like Jerry Casale used for "The Chinaman"), with the slant-eye inserts poked out!

Add your thoughts?

Shout - Warner Bros. 1984
Rating = 2


In a hilarious world, that would be my entire review. However, due to the inconceivable nature of a band sinking from a 10 to a 2 in a mere six years, I would like to go into more elaborate detail about this album's shocking lack of goodness.

Utilizing the finest in state-of-the-art mid-'80s synthesizers and big gated (or fake) drums, Devo has crafted a corny cheesy disposable album of faceless stupid commercial synthetic pop shit for 11-year-olds. If you loved The Monkees' Pool It and The Beach Boys' Summer In Paradise, dig a hole in your record cabinet because you're about to inject a brand new entry!

Every person involved in the creation of this album should wake up each morning feeling embarrassed by its existence. The synth and sampler tones are so unfathomably lame that even had the band written any good songs, you probably wouldn't be able to tell. Remember about 25 years ago when those chintzy sampling keyboards came out that let you say "Hey!' into them and then play a little song using your "Hey!" as the instrument? As it turns out, Devo were as enamored by those stupid things as you and I -- difference being that you and I were little kids and Devo should've known better. So now we've got an album where like every song has a dumbass "Bow Bow Bow!" or "Wuh Wuh!" noise going up and down in the background.

Furthermore, what is up with the fake guitar lines in songs like "The Satisfied Mind" and "Don't Rescue Me"? THIS BAND OWNS FUCKING GUITARS!!! WHAT POSSIBLE REASON COULD THEY HAVE FOR 'EMULATING' THE SOUND OF A GUITAR ON THEIR SHITTY LITTLE PISS COMPUTER?! Oh, and then when a real guitar finally shows up in "The 4th Dimension" and "Here To Go," it plagiarises "Day Tripper," "Blues Theme" and "Land Of A Thousand Dances" and then disappears again!? I realize the '80s were a difficult time for musicians, what with the cocaine and all, but WHAT THE HELL HAPPENED TO THESE GUYS!?!? Did they have children or something? Because having children makes people stupid.

Additional highlights include:
- The lyric "I can't hear you, Puppet Boy -- now dance dance dance!"
- Mark repeatedly quoting Richard Hell in a song so bouncy, childish and stupid that it should've been a Bubblicious commercial
- A jaw-droppingly humiliating cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Are You Experienced?," complete with "DUH!" and "BROH!" synth tones and a fake-backwards guitar solo.

The title track is a super-hooky fake-horn-driven call-to-arms though, and there's one other song I like even though it sucks, but I'd rather not tell you which one because I have an image to uphold and I can't have the young kids of today thinking I like Tuff-Rock Dickshit like "Jurisdiction of Love" because the next thing you know they're off reading Pitchfork and listening to Lil' Wayne and I'm sitting here alone eating baked beans out of an old Journey album.

Reader Comments
I think you nailed this one. I kind of like it in a perverse way in that some of the songs are still catchy (cartoonish and obnoxious, but catchy). "The 4th Dimension", "Here to Go", and "Please Please" are all worth saving. But yeah, most of it is just really stupid and has probably dated the worst out of any of their albums. I appriciated the line you used, "I like it even though it sucks". That's how I feel about this album sometimes.

Add your thoughts?

E-Z Listening Disc - Rykodisc 1987
Rating = 6

This is Devo playing 19 of their songs as easy listening synthesizer muzak instrumentals. I apologize for the high grade, but I'm a sucker for novelty-genre performances of familiar rock songs. Here, let me pull out my record collection and show you (my penis).

I am currently the proud owner of:
- 17 Rockabye Baby CDs -- lullaby tributes to AC/DC, Beach Boys, Beatles, Coldplay, The Cure, The Eagles, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Pixies, Queens of the Stone Age, Radiohead, Ramones, Rolling Stones, Tool and U2
- The entire Nutley Brass discography -- muzak performances of (a) Shimmy Disc, (b) punk, (c) Ramones and (d) Misfits songs
- Pink Floyd's The Wall performed by (a) a bluegrass band, (b) a string quartet and (c) a shitty electronica piece of crap asshole
- Pink Floyd's Dark Side Of The Moon performed a capella
- The Who's Sell Out performed a capella
- The Who's Tommy performed by a string quartet
- Additional AC/DC tributes in the genres of punk rock, death metal, industrial, bluegrass, rockabilly, string quartet and christmas music
- Additional Pink Floyd tributes in the genres of bluegrass and electronica
- Additional Ramones tributes in the genres of steelpan, classic rock, gabber, new wave, bossanova, rockabilly and surf music
- Bluegrass and string quartet tributes to Aerosmith
- Death metal and string quartet tributes to Led Zeppelin
- Christmas music tribute to Metallica
- Additional bluegrass tributes to The Byrds, Creedence Clearwater Revival, Moody Blues and Van Halen
- Additional string quartet tributes to The Flaming Lips, Pixies and Sonic Youth
- Noise-rock tributes to The Birthday Party and Queen
- Reggae tributes to Dead Kennedys and Bob Dylan
- Death metal tribute to Suicidal Tendencies
- Metalcore tribute to Black Flag

So, as The Turtles once sang, "Is It Any Wonder?" that I find Devo's E-Z Listening Disc a somewhat enjoyable piece of lightball fluff?

The band performs 5 Q:AWNM? A:WAD! songs, 4 New Tradders, 3 each from FOC, O,N!ID and Shit and a mere one from DNFTF. And lest you fear they one-trick ponyed the thing, let me assuage your concerns by opining that they did nothing of the sort! I hope that assuages your concerns, because I'd hate to make an "ass" out of "u" and the "ages."

Although many of the tracks are indeed straightforward muzak versions, some are reworked so completely and perversely that the results are nearly unrecognizable. "Girl U Want" is reinterpreted as a forboding gladiator fight song in minor-key. "Whip It" is turned around all topsy-turvy, its riffs up-ended, reversed and discofied. "Shout" is now an adorable '50s ballad, "Mongoloid" a sorrowful soap opera theme song, and "Jocko Homo" a twisted atonal collection of disturbia that sounds like none other than The Residents covering Devo!

Other songs retain their original melodies, but are performed in wonderfully entertaining and unexpected new styles. "Come Back Jonee" is now a snazzy playful old-timey lounge song, "That's Good" a Caribbean beach number, "The 4th Dimension" a surf-rock instrumental that's a million times more listenable than the original studio version, "Goin' Under" a sleazy Foetus-style lounge jazzer, "Jurisdiction Of Love" a piece of Les Baxter exotica (complete with bird noises!) and "It's A Beautiful World" an Optigan-driven banjo hoedown!

Even the songs that can be considered straightforward muzak are often quite effective. There isn't an elevator in America that wouldn't be enhanced by this regal performance of "Gates Of Steel," for example. "Space Junk" on synths remains as alternately heavenly and hellish as it did with guitars. And give the band a gigantic hand for synthetically recreating every single guitar line in "Satisfaction" (as well as giving it a hoppin' new disco bass line!).

So up the haters' butts because Devo was one fine instrumental Muzak band. Most of the songs probably drag on a bit long, and there's no way of performing "Jerkin' Back And Forth" and "Peek-A-Boo!" that would make me hate them any less, but other than that, climb aboard Devo's Instrumental Boat Of Performance because here comes the anchor and it's time to set sail!

I really must thank all of my professors at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill who helped me to earn a Bachelor of Arts degree in English so that I might possess the skill and vocabulary to write "up the haters' butts."

Add your thoughts?

Total Devo - Enigma 1988
Rating = 3

Another important thing to remember about being a professional writer person is that The Bible isn't just for religious assholes; it's also a vast literary expanse of themes and symbolism, familiarity with which will increase the depth of your own writing 50-fold. For example, check out my latest short story:

Detective Glasterbury And The Case Of The Missing "Sweet N Low" Packet
by Mark Prindle

Detective Glasterbury was the firstborn of Chicago. The children of Detective Glasterbury were: of Bip, the family of the Bipites; of Poop McJohnson, the family of the McJohnsonites; of Jim Jenkinstein, the family of the Jenkinsteinites; of Festering Smelly Frank, the family of the Festeringsmellyfrankites. These are the families of the Glasterburyites: those who were seeking the missing "Sweet N Low" packet of them were forty-three thousand seven hundred and thirty.

And the son of Buttbuddy was Jeff McGee. The sons of Jeff McGee were Bippity-Boppity, Farts McGee, and Vomity Sam. These are the Farts Mcgeeam and Vomity Samam, representatives of the congregation, who contended against Lefty Jimson and Fred Durf in the company of Sally Jenkins, when they contended against the RESTAURANT OWNER; and the customer opened his mouth and swallowed his coffee up together with Jim Beans when that company retired for the evening, when the customer devoured two hundred and fifty pieces of toast; and they became a poop. Nevertheless the children of Jeff McGee did not diet.

The sons of Blorp Smith according to their families were: of Amy Martin, the family of the Martinites; of Bill Titeyw, the family of the Titeywites; of James Gigantict the family of the Gigantictites; of Shi, the family of the Shites; of Timf, the family of the Timfites. These are the families of the Martinites: twenty-two thousand two hundred.

The sons of Bob Costas according to their families were: of Snuffle-Up-A-Gus, the family of the Snuffle-Up-A-Gusites; of Tom Bosley, the family of the Bosleyites; of Jake Term, the family of the Termites; of Jake Blackenwh, the family of the Blackenwhites; of Jake Erud, the family of the Erudites; of Jake Earm, the family of the Earmites; of Jake Litebr, the family of the Litebrites. These are the families of the sons of Bob Costas according to those who were numbered of them: forty thousand five hundred.

The sons of Burnt Sienna Poppycock were Urgh and Amusicwar; and Urgh and Amusicwar ate in the restaurant of Sixth Avenue. And the sons of Burnt Sienna Poppycock according to their families were: of Jim Johnson, the family of the Johnsonites; of Jose' Johnson, the family of the Johnsonites; of Sanjay Johnson, the family of the Johnsonites. And the sons of Ching Johnson were: of Clive Johnson, the family of the Johnsonites; of Simon Johnson, the family of the Johnsonites. These are the families of Burnt Sienna Poppycock according to those who were numbered of them: seventy-six thousand five hundred.

The sons of Sit Onmyface according to their families were: of Hank Masturb, the family of the Masturbites; of Joe Tastyb, the family of the Tastybites; of Jashub, the family of the Jashubites; of Bob Shim, the family of the Shimites. These are the families of Sit Onmyface according to those who were numbered of them: sixty-four thousand three hundred.

The sons of Luke Harper according to their families were: of Bob Hooper, the family of the Hooperites; of Steven Hipper, the family of the Hipperites; of Kareem Abdul-Ahmar, the family of the Abdul-Ahmarites. These are the families of the Hooperites according to those who were numbered of them: sixty thousand five hundred.

The sons of A Bitch according to their families, by Manuhmanuh and Dududadudu, were: The sons of Manuhmanuh: of Uncle Dave Dietspr, the family of the Dietsprites; and Dududadudu begot Lardass Caffeinefreespr; of Lardass Caffeinefreespr, the family of the Caffeinefreesprites. These are the sons of Dududadudu: of Jeepers McGee, the family of the McGeeites; of Ernest Goflyak, the family of the Goflyakites; of Jim Yessireeat, the family of the Yessireeatites; of Ernie Reachingnewh, the family of the Reachingnewhites; of Farts Bobsonstein, the family of the Bobsonsteinites; of Sam Pantywh, the family of the Pantywhites. Now Impotent Steve the son of Cranky McJivemaster had no sons, but daughters; and the names of the daughters of Impotent Steve were Dodder, Dotter, Daughder, Dahter and Fuckyou. These are the families of A Bitch; and those who were numbered of them were fifty-two thousand seven hundred.

These are the sons of Man Smith according to their families: of Easy Alice, the family of the Aliceites; of Shady Daisy the family of the Daisyites; of Spreadherlegs Slutsoplenty, the family of the Slutsoplentyites. And these are the sons of Mister Monkeypants: of Nursie, the family of the nursieites. These are the families of the sons of Man Smith according to those who were numbered of them: thirty-two thousand five hundred.

These are the sons of Jesus Smellyballs according to their families. The sons of Jesus Smellyballs according to their families were: of Moses Pencildick, the family of the Pencildickites; of Noah Animalfucker, the family of the Animalfuckerites; of Lot Saltywife, the family of the Saltywifites; of Adam Donkeypud, the family of the Donkeypudites; of Eve Snakedildo the family of the Snakedildoites. And the sons of Bela Lugosi were 'Ard To Kill and Naa, Man - Easy To Kill!; of 'Ard To Kill, the family of the 'Ardtokillites; of Naa, Man - Easy To Kill!, the family of the Naa,man-easytokill!ites. These are the sons of Jesus Smellyballs according to their families; and those who were numbered of them were forty-five thousand six hundred.

These are the sons of Paul McCartner according to their families: of John Lennom, the family of the Lennomites. These are the families of Paul McCartner according to their families. All the families of the Lennomites, according to those who were numbered of them, were sixty-four thousand four hundred.

The sons of George Harrisox according to their families were: of Richard "Ringo Stark" Starrey, the family of the Starreyites; of Mick Jagged, the family of the Jaggedites; of Keith Richardy, the family of the Richardyites. Of the sons of Pete Townshend: of Pete Townshend, the family of the Pete Townshendites; of Pete Townshend, the family of the Pete Townshendites. And the name of the daughter of Pete Townshend was Pete Townshend. These are the families of the sons of George Harrisox according to those who were numbered of them: fifty-three thousand four hundred.

The sons of Larry Guilty according to their families were: of Harry Suspicious, the family of the Suspiciousites; of Jerry Didit, the family of the Diditites; of Barry Committedacrime, the family of the Committedacrimeites; of Bob Wenttothepoliceandadmittedthathestolethe'SweetNLow'packet, the family of the Wenttothepoliceandadmittedthathestolethe'SweetNLow'packetites. These are the families of Larry Guilty according to their families; and thus Detective Glasterbury solved the case of the missing "Sweet N Low" packet.


This ain't your FATHER'S Devo! His was good.

Total Devo is the debut appearance by new Devo drummer David Kendrick, and it's boring. Though not as creatively bankrupt or technologically laughable as Shout, Total more than matches it in tedium. This is midtempo MOR pop music, fit only for orthodontists' offices and homecoming dances. It's harmless streamlined synthpop that would challenge or confuse neither 13-year-old girls nor 60-year-old men -- a completely middle-of-the-road 1980's midtempo bore.

Having said that, the album gets a HIGH 3 compared to the LOW 2 of Shout and Smooth Noodle Maps. Unlike those two near-unlistenable discharges, this release does find the band coming up with some new ideas, as well as penning two honestly strong pieces of dramatic pop with "Some Things Never Change" and "Happy Guy." These two songs sound as if they were written by adult songwriters, not pandering burned-out oldies -- and honestly, I'd put "Happy Guy" up there with ANY of the band's post-Duty Now material. It's hella-hooky-ass! Other memorable touches include: the James Brown-inspired funk groove of the otherwise underwritten "Disco Dancer"; determinedly passionate vocals of the otherwise unremarkable "Plain Truth"; oddball fuzz guitar chord progression of the otherwise vomitous "Sexi Luv"; and quirky coiling-spring synth tones of the otherwise generic "Man Turned Inside Out."

The other half of the album brings you:
- A dumbed-down rip-off of Lipps, Inc.'s "Funkytown"
- A cover of Elvis Presley's "Don't Be Cruel" that will make you hate the very concept of music
- A hilarious novelty song with slowed-down vocals that will make you laugh and laugh and laugh - oh, how you'll laugh
- You won't really laugh; it's awful
- Three naps

Reader Comments
I can't believe you gave this a better rating than Shout! This is one of the worst albums I've ever heard! I like "Happy Guy" but the guitar hook was stolen from Gary Numan's "Bombers". "Some Things Never Change" is one of the most piddling and mediocre songs they ever wrote. Also these lyrics are terrible! Yes Oh No Its Devo had silly lyrics but the political statements here are ten times more embarassing.

Phenomenal review, one of your best! I've only listened to HD1, Q.AWNM?A.WAD, DFftF, and FoC but I kind of got the impression from FoC that there's no need to hurry onto the subsequent stuff. I can't believe you think Freedom of Choice is a lesser song! It's practically my favorite song on FoC.

Here's some last names I thought of while readin your review, you are welcome to use them in subsequent reviews. Stalact/Stalagm, Satell, Dogf/Catf, Thepriceisr, Tonightsthen, Baux, Speedofl.

Add your thoughts?

Now It Can Be Told: At The Palace 12/9/88 - Enigma 1989
Rating = 6

This album features live performances of 4 are we not menners, 2 new tradders, 1 single, 3 total devos, 1 oh no it'd evo, 3 freedom of choices, 1 shout, 1 unreleased and NOT A GUCKIN THING FROM DUTY NOW!

This era of the band, even live, sounds just like a shitty happy band - not the Devo of old. The stupid childish keyboard tones ruin it! Shitty wiggly chorus on the guitar doesn't help either, and I should know because I fell for the same trick. See, when you buy an amp with chorus, it sounds mesmerizing and beautiful when you're up close and personal with it. HOWEVER, if you try to "rock out," it just makes your guitar sound watery and pussyish -- that's EXACTLY what happened on the Low-Maintenance Perennials' CONDOM WHAT CONDOM album, and here too, as a secondary point.

They sound old and out of touch. They even ruin "Jocko Homo" by playing it with entirely new, shitty, folksy music. They play the E-Z Listening version of "Going Under" which is neat.

Stage patter: "I bet you don't know why we're sitting down. Just to show you all we still CAN after ten years in this business!"

"You know, De-evolution is very real. It takes COURAGE to be a Devo fan these days! There's people out there that just don't think Devo is COOL anymore!"

Their silly little kid synth tones and brapps do indeed ruin quite a few songs. It's sad, so very very sad. But also, it's sad.

For example, you know "Gut Feeling"? They replace the awesome echoey piano with a dumb synthesizer! Also, when they play "Gates Of Steel," I'll be good, goddamned and damned good if they don't ruin it with a Mannheim Steamroller fruity pebble synthesizer. Why? Were they really THAT out of touch? They even do a song from WEST SIDE STORY! Can you imagine? YES would never do that!

In conclusion, early Devo material is better than later Devo material. I hate to go against the grain of general belief like that, but I'm a maverick.

Add your thoughts?

Recombo DNA - Rhino Handmade 2000
Rating = 6

This double-CD focuses on rare tracks and demos. Disappointingly, unlike the early Hardcore Devo demos, most of these are quite similar to the final releases. This is probably because, unlike a guitar riff -- which can be played in different ways through different effects at different levels of intensity based on familiarity level -- once you write a song on a keyboard, it sounds the exact fucking same every time you play it. As such, every demo from Freedom Of Choice through Total Devo differs from its final version only via vocal performance (the demo vox are generally much weaker) and (occasionally) mix (for example, the "Whip It" demo pumps the synth way louder than the guitar). Many of the songs are still great of course, but if you already own the studio releases, there's not much in these 'work versions' to get all "Holy cow" about.

In specifics, you get demos of seven Freedom Of Choice, five Total Devo, four New Traditionalists, three Shout and Duty Now For The Future, two Oh, No! It's Devo and Be Stiff, one Q. Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! and Hardcore, and sixteen unreleased or b-side tracks. This last point almost sounds exciting until I punch you in the stomach with the fact that only about five of the rarities are actually any good. "Turn Around (Nirvana)," "Bushwhacked," "Faster And Faster" and "Modern Life" (pronounced 'Mod-er-in') are adorable uptempo synthpoppies whose absence from studio albums is not just inscrutable but inexcusable considering the utter shorts they tried to force around the waist of our ears during the latter years. But aside from those and funny electro-Christian gag ("I saw Jesus at dinner swimmin' in the stew -- Jesus is everywhere!"), these leftovers are spoiled and may lead to vomiting and diarrhea.

The worst moments include:
- An endless and terrible funk-new wave version of Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody"
- A nerdy boogie-down called "Make Me Dance" that's more likely to make you leave the room
- Two horrendous synthpop songs featuring the exact same music
- A Gap Band disco funkathon based on the old Ajax Cleanser advertising jingle
- A so-rotten-it-literally-smells-like-an-egg-stuck-in-your-couch POP-METAL song featuring guest vocalist Toni Basil of "Oh Mickey You're So Fine" fame
- A demo of "Baby Doll." I'm sorry, but that isn't just the worst song Devo ever recorded; it's literally the worst collection of sounds ever created by any collection of people or objects since time began.

So save your money and buy the Hardcore Devo CDs instead.

Ha! That was a joke! You CAN'T both save your money and buy the Hardcore Devo CDs, because they're so out of print you'll never find them for less than $35 each!!!! HA HAHAHAHHAHAHA FUCK YOU!!!!!!

Well yes, I suppose there is always Rapidshare.

Add your thoughts?

Smooth Noodle Maps - Enigma 1990
Rating = 2

Smooth Noodle Maps features newer synths and an attempt to incorporate dance elements into Devo's late-period faceless boring dance-pop, but it's just as hookless, generic and dated as its two predecessors. All the songs sound like TV commercials or songs from a bad youth movie soundtrack. Some are dancey, others just blow. It's astonishing to think that such a mid-'80s record could've come out in 1990. This came out ONE YEAR before Nevermind!? Good sweet Jesus were these men out of touch with the cultural zeitgeist. The single "Post Post-Modern Man" is a happy folksy piece of college radio pop, but the rest of this pulsebeat-driven Crayola would require me to visit in order to avoid using the words "shitty," "faceless," and "boring" again.

I intend to devote no further time to this tree-killing waste of American polycarbonate plastic, so here's a joke I made up last night in a burst of genus:

Why was our 36th president nicknamed "LBJ"?

Because he gave a "Lousy Blow Job"!

Speaking of which (vaguely), I was reading through my old college diaries the other night looking for hilarious anecdotes and historical precedent for my recurring nightmares when I discovered something so astonishing that it made me say "Oh my God" out loud, with my very own mouth. If you had asked me one week ago, "Say Mark, when did you lose your virginity to the lovely young woman who would someday become your wife?," I would have responded, "Late 1994 - October, I think." But my diary tells a much different and more sinister tale. 1994 yes, but the date of my Journey Into Manhood? The morning of September 11th.

Is it possible that the 9/11 terrorists were simply congratulating me on seven years of crashing my Skinplane into my wife's Vaginal Building? Let's look at the similarities between 9/11/94 and 9/11/01:

1) It all happened in a split-second
2) The air was thick with the smell of burning flesh
3) When it was over, my wife jumped out the window

If such is indeed the case (and I'm 100% certain that it is), I wish they'd have just sent a funny card. Why did they think I'd appreciate the murder of thousands of innocent people, even as a hilarious 'birth control killing the sperm' gag? Goddamn you, Islamic terrorists and your insensitive sense of humor.

On a more upbeat note though, I found the lyrics to two Mark Prindle CD-R outtakes! If you own Only The Good Die Young CD-R, you no doubt have been wondering, "Why isn't there a song on here about that period when Mark was afraid that if he littered, something terrible would happen?" Well, because the song was so bad, I left it off the album. Here are its lyrics though!

by Mark Prindle

I was walking down the street just as happier than can be
When a little bit of a Certs wrapper fell right down under me
I says to myself I says, "Oh, I needn't pick that up"
Then 34 seconds later, my loved one was killed by a sizeable truck
Oh you Darn-ed Cert wrapper! Ruining my happy existitude!
Even when I aim at the trash can and miss, I find myself in my boss's office in the nude!
With my big ol' dick smackin' her in the face, the ho!
It would be for the best if you didn't play this particular song for my boss, yo.

Secondly, if you own Smilehouse, you might be familiar with an underwritten little gem called "Beans." But I bet you DIDN'T know (because I certainly didn't) that I actually wrote LYRICS for "Beans" way back in 2002! I simply forgot about them by the time I got around to finishing the CD. Here they are:

by Mark Prindle

I thought to myself, "You know what would rule?"
To write a song using "beans" as a metaphor
Even though it's obvious who I mean by "beans"
After all, who else has that skin color?
So don't be afraid of the liberal media
Stand up proud and say, "I hate beans!"
And you know who I mean by "beans"
I mean, who else has the facial features of a bean?
Send 'em all back to Mexico where they came from!
Oh sorry, "Mexico" was another metaphor. For where beans come from! (if you know what I mean by "beans"!)

Devo just released a catchy new single called "Don't Shoot (I'm A Man)" that offers a ray of hope that their rumored 2009 CD might actually be pretty good! Thank God for small miracles because I couldn't bear the thought of sitting through another SHIT, Total SHIT or SHIT Noodle Maps.

Although admittedly, I'd have enjoyed calling it "Don't SHIT (I'm A Man)."

Reader Comments (Guillermo)
Loved the devo review, you know what? Because as I'm reading your description and depiction of every song I get this uncontrolable urge (no pun intended) to grab every devo album and listen to them out loud, well except for the obvious ones. Maybe it's because I like Devo so much, who knows? It's the kinda band that makes me wanna dance all night and as you may know true men don't dance, they just nod at women from the bar according to all the gringo movies I've seen. Devo is kinda back together, they're touring, doing the same choreographies and being really old!
First off, thanks for making one of the most comprehensive Devo review pages on the web, even with the interminable litany of rejected song lyrics. Now for some specific thoughts:

1. I still think you're funny.

2. Not only is Triumph Of The Will easily the darkest song Devo ever did, it's also one of their deepest. By deliberately making numerous references to fascist/Nazi ideology in a song about rape, the band seem to imply that the justification for rape and the justification for fascism are in fact very similar, thus making the song an indictment of both at once. Or, at least, that's how I've always seen it. I kinda hope it's true, 'cause it's a brilliant way of making a very unsettling point.

3. The alien head mask in the "Tunnel Of Life" video is actually Mark's Booji Boy mask turned inside out. Mark is the one singing.

Otherwise, I agree with pretty much everything you said on the Devo page, except that I like Peek-A-Boo! (their exclamation mark, not mine)

Lookin' forward to the next batch of reviews.
Hey Mark,

Thanks for reviewing Devo. Your reviews seem to sum up a consensus that most other sites have to buy their first three...the others, not so much. I've been trying to get into a couple of groups from that era, like the Tubes, etc. and really it comes down to just jumping in and buying one of them to see if I like it, because I can't tell much of anything from the crappy samples on Amazon, etc. Then I can sue the reviewer who told me to buy them, and get punitive damages which will help me buy the Beatles reissues in september at 30 a pop.

On an unrelated B flat, how do you find time to write and overcome any block issues? Everytime I think I'm going to cattle prod my ass to start writing even some miniature reviews, oh look there's a cheese sandwich, and then I'm done, and I lose inspiration. Plus I'd rather comment on some other perspective that hasn't been noticed by 8 million people, like "yeah man, George played a sitar on Norwegian Wood." etc.

Good luck with the employment search.
You know, I was so excited when I found this one at CD Warehouse for 4 bucks. Meant I'd never have to order it. Besides that 1990s Jefferson Starship CD "Windows of Heaven", this is easily the worst purchase I have ever made. It makes it even worse that I bought it over "Tattoo You" by the Stones, simply because of its rarity. Of course, "Tattoo You" had sold by the time I came back. Life sucks.

Ron Heck
I love the new Devo reviews. I agree with almost everything you said, except that I hate Triumph of the Will with a passion and I kinda like "The Day My Baby Gave Me a Surprize." Now I know I'm usually THAT guy who writes in and says "Hey you should also check this out, too," but hey you should check out this out, too. Since you're so fond of Jerry Casale (aren't we all), you should give Jihad Jerry and the Evildoers "Mine is Not a Holy War" a listen. It's a late period Devo side project that's not absolutely disgusting and horrible, like The Wipeouters or Devo 2.0. I'd say it's at least worth a Mark Prindle 7, partly because it consists of rerecorded Hardcore Devo stuff, which seems to comprise most of the good parts of their career. The only difference is they throw in a few of anti George Bush songs and make fun of the Abu Ghraib torture scandal. It's a good time for all involved.

Add your thoughts?

Pioneers Who Got Scalped: The Anthology - Warner Bros. 2000
Rating = 6

This double-CD compiles album tracks, singles, remixes, rarities and a jaw-dropping number of motion picture soundtrack contributions. Look, your jaw will drop when you see how many:

Be Stiff EP - 3
Q: Are We Not Men? A: We Are Devo! - 4
Duty Now For The Future - 4
Freedom Of Choice - 6
New Traditionalists - 4
Oh, No! It's Devo - 3
Shout - 3
Total Devo - 3
Now It Can Be Told - 1
Smooth Noodle Maps - 2
B-sides - 2
Snippets from Devo films - 2
Oh, No! It's Devo outtake - 1
Spoken word outtake - 1
New song - 1
Motion picture soundtrack contributions - 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 SEE??? LOOK AT YOUR JAW!!!!
Motion picture soundtrack contributions - okay, 10.

Thankfully they were very choosy about which motion pictures to lend their talents to. If you weren't making a revolutionary art film like Meet Wally Sparks or important political documentary like Revenge Of The Nerds II: Nerds In Paradise, then get the fuck out of here! is what they'd say to you, probably. And thank goodness for that, because these songs are awful. Terrible over-synthesized covers of garbage like "Bread And Butter," "Itsy Bitsy Teenie Weenie Yellow Polka-Dot Bikini" and "Head Like A Hole" wallow around in the barrel of shit otherwise populated by execrable kiddie-pop originals like "Theme From Dr. Detroit (Dance Mix)," "I Wouldn't Do That To You" and "Thanks To You."

In other words, this is one of those expensive multi-disc compilations perfectly designed to appeal to nobody. The rare songs here could have been packaged on a single disc for collectors, and the album tracks on a separate release for newbies (or "New Bees," if members of the Bee Kingdom). Throwing them all together like this does no one any good - particularly those who venture beyond the exciting youth vision of Disc One (1978-1981, grade = 8) into the coke-addled creative toilet of disc two (1982-2000, grade = 4).

Okay, up Devo's ass -- let's move on. If you read my article about 'Shreds' videos in the July 2010 issue of Spin, you likely thought to yourself, "Say... Why is this so boring?" Well, it's because they rewrote the whole thing and left my name on it. Can't be helped; that's life in the Big League Chew of consumer media. But since they also left out my sidebar, I'll post it here:

Recommended Shreds Videos
- “Steve Vai Shreds in Denver” (StSanders) – Vai fails to wail on a triple-neck guitar in this classic clip that currently boasts 1,204,494 YouTube views.
- “Mother” (Legion of Rock Stars) – A warbling Glenn Danzig warns mothers, “Tell ya chimmy anna num mayga life!” in a clip viewed by 16,450 YouTube viewers to date.
- “Yo-Yo Shreds At at the Inauguration with Perlman” (boilingsand) – This uproarious classical disaster was created by a dentist who would prefer to remain nameless because, as he admits, “I did much of the meticulous audio micro-editing at my desk between patients.” 126,000 YouTube viewers appreciate his on-the-clock shredding efforts.
- “Creed Shreds” (spiritswitchboard) – The creator sums up the appeal of this childish prank perfectly: “It’s awful, but it still makes me laugh!” 470,000 YouTube viewers agree.
- “Coldplay SHREDS an Encore” (allergonoise) – Brutal doom metal, courtesy of Grammy award-winning alt rock band Coldplay, in a clip that has rocked 22,260 YouTube viewers.

I guess it's no coincidence that Spin spelled incorrectly is Penis!

Reader Comments
Just wanted to say thanks for introducing me to the Legion of Rock Stars videos - my friends and I have become obsessed with them. You'd think it would get old over 200+ videos, but I've watched a bunch of them and it doesn't. Some brilliant ones: "Dreamweaver", "2 Legit 2 Quit", "Synchronicity II" (brand new!! watch it), "Macarena", and of course "Sweet Child o' Mine" which is the most botched rendition of that famous opening riff that I've ever heard. And your favorites??? I always thought that LRS was a pretty competant group at its core but they play the tunes without rehearsing or even really knowing how they go or which notes to play. It's not even really played for laughs...their cover of "When a Man Loves a Woman" is hilarious, but it really just sounds like a normal white guy trying to do the Percy Sledge croon as best as he can.

Oh yeah, the anthology...I like "It Takes a Worried Man" a lot, kinda wish this had more early stuff like "Turn Around", but it doesn't. Also no "Gut Feeling" is really's one of their best tracks, easily!! The second disc is just a reminder of how far this group fell in the late 80's and early 90's. Can you believe they covered "Head Like a Hole"? God, it's awful. I would say those looking for a really good overview of the group should get the Recombo DNA set, that really gets to the essence of what was great about Devo, and even though the second disc on that one kind of chunks there are still a few gems hidden in there.

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Something For Everybody - Warner Bros. 2010
Rating = 6

My failures are colossal -- failure in my career, failure as a musician, failure as a writer, failure as a husband, failure to develop into a self-sufficient adult. I feel nothing but pain, hopelessness and depression every waking moment. I see absolutely no worthwhile future, and no way to ever again find happiness. I can't find the energy to do anything but sigh and sleep. This is my life at age 36. This is where all of my faulty decisions and defective psychology have led me.

I am in a very dark place. All of the tiny warning signs flew right past me. "I feel depressed and trapped in this marriage." "I'm sorry you don't find me attractive anymore." "Do you even like me?" All the late hours at work, all the trips out of town, all the avoidance of unresolved issues. I figured we had our whole lives to address them. I didn't know she would come to resent me.

And the problem with everybody telling me "You'll get through this and be happier than ever!" is that I wasn't happy to begin with. I was a lonely miserable wreck before I met her. I couldn't come up with a single valid reason to bother doing anything because I felt completely alone in the Universe. Her love changed that. And now her love is gone.

How on Earth do people get through this? I was abandoned by the person to whom I dedicated my entire life. The center of my Universe (The Sun, symbolically speaking) took its light (love, allegorically) away and gave it to another universe (some other guy, literally). I've been informed that I am no longer worthy of being loved. She was my only stability in this world, and without her I feel myself drifting deeper and deeper into despair. This world is a cold, cruel place where fools are punished with indescribable spiritual pain.

But hey! At least the new Devo album is pretty good!

This is disposable bouncy new wave synth-pop with lots of childlike energy and some really nice synth tones and hooks. No song is over four minutes, and the overall mood puts one in the mind of Oh No! It's Devo -- really bouncy and excited. Although both twangy and fuzzy guitars play a role, the synthesizers continue to rule the roost with their rollicking rhinoceros. The hooks are basic, but at least they're actually CATCHY! Forget the last three studio albums; the REAL Devo is (not quite) BACK!

One interesting note though: at age 60, Mark Mothersbaugh now sounds a lot like "Weird Al" Yankovic doing his impression of Mark Mothersbaugh. In fact, most of these songs sound like "Weird Al" Yankovic performing stylistic parodies of Devo! Could it be that "Weird Al" Yankovic was actually the mastermind behind Devo to begin with!? All signs point towards this indeed being the case.

Now here are some specifics, for all you Specifics fans out there in the audience tonight, holding up your banners reading "Specifics":

Specific 1. If you liked Laid Back's "White Horse," you'll positively like "What We Do"!

Specific 2. If you like doowop harmonies, then "Please Baby Please" give a listen to the song "Please Ba

Specific 3. If you like The Cars and their crazy Greg Hawkes keyboard jive, you'll be all over "Don't Shoot (I'm A Man)" like a bag of sperm over Lindsay Lohan's career!

Specific 4. If you like hugely fuzzy guitar goodness, "Mind Games" isn't a John Lennon cover!

Specific 5. If you like doing today's hep 'Pogo Dance' as popularized by late musician/poet Sid Vicious, you'll blow a gasket when you hear "Human Rocket"!

Specific 6. If you like the guitar tone created by turning a wah-wah pedal halfway up, there's "Sumthin'" on here you're bound to love! Give up? It's a song!

Specific 7. If you like a dramatic melancholy sad worried piano song that sounds nothing at all like the rest of the album, there's "No Place Like Home"!

Specific 8. Then there's some other songs.

Specific 9. "Cameo" blows.

And that's it for the specifics. Once again, we are Specific Johnny and the Specific-Tones from Boston, Nebraska! Good night, Toledo, Iowa!


As an encore, we'd like to play a new song called "Don't Worry About The Deluxe Edition"!

Don't worry about the Deluxe Edition!
Even though it has four extra songs!
"Signal Ready" has some adorable pitch modulator!
But the other three were recorded with dongs!
Yeah yeah yeah! Recorded with dongs!
Yeah yeah yeah! Recorded with dongs!
Most of the songs have no real melodies!
Just cheerleader-style happy chants!
And "Knock Boots" is a lifeless semi-disco!
Recorded with dongs inside pants!
Yeah yeah yeah! Recorded with dongs!
Yeah yeah yeah! (*clavicle solo*)

Reader Comments
"And the problem with everybody telling me 'You'll get through this and be happier than ever!' is that I wasn't happy to begin with. I was a lonely miserable wreck before I met her. I couldn't come up with a single valid reason to bother doing anything because I felt completely alone in the Universe. Her love changed that. And now her love is gone.

How on Earth do people get through this? I was abandoned by the person to whom I dedicated my entire life. The center of my Universe (The Sun, symbolically speaking) took its light (love, allegorically) away and gave it to another universe (some other guy, literally). I've been informed that I am no longer worthy of being loved. She was my only stability in this world, and without her I feel myself drifting deeper and deeper into despair."

And this right here I think is the source of the problem, Mark. You say it yourself, you were living YOUR life for someone ELSE. Otherwise you felt miserable, alone, and meaningless. You're right, you won't be happier than ever b/c even though losing your wife is horrible and I am so sorry for that loss (I just saw my ex-fiance with her new man, all happy and rendering 7 years together meaningless and it hurt all weekend) the problem started before her. You need to get help (and I think you said you're doing this and that's awesome) and learn to value your life even if you're alone. You can fail at everything but you have these things to fail, that in itself is something to cherish! You're a great writer, a funny guy, you make & perform music...even if you fail you HAVE these things! I know people who get up, go to work, come home and just eat food & drink things until it's time to work again. Most of my family is like that. I myself am almost 30 and compared to my brother I'm a loser, he's married at age 26, got a house, works for Microsoft has a lot of money...meanwhile Ive got $150 in the bank for 2 weeks, am eating ramen, and I'm alone...even though I got engaged before HE did. But I have things to live my life for, my own music, my close friends who are like family, a feeling that even if I'm lonely I can survive alone. Please, get the help to value your existence simply b/c you exist, and then you'll be able to get through this loss. If all you've got is yourself, that can be enough and should be enough and I hope you find the way to believe it.
I'm surprised you didn't mention anything about the marketing campaign, which I thought was pretty hilarious. The whole 'song study' was cool but I find it a little weird that the band would go against the songs that were voted on. I always thought "Watch Us Work It" was the best from here, but now it's just a bonus track. I'm just glad it's better than the last three albums. I remember getting really excited when the group said it would probably sound like the first two, but the result was closer to Oh No, Its Devo than anything. The songs are generally pretty good but a little simplistic (probably on purpose?) and the production just kills me. It's like they just turned up the volume knob on everything and listening to this on a good system gives me a headache. Just no dynamics at all. But I guess I like the songs too much to really complain (besides "Cameo", yeah that one really blows). Overall I think a 6 is pretty much right although I'd probably give it a 7. You might want to check out the "Jihad Jerry and the Evildoers" album too, which was basically Devo minus Mark. It was about as good as this one although about a third of it was re-recorded rare Devo tracks.

Sorry to hear about your marriage falling apart by the way, but I do appriciate how candidly you write about it. Personally I am on the other end of it, I'm going to be getting married soon, and I imagine getting left now would be the worst pain ever....hope things work out for you!!

Mike Hayes
Three words: This album rocks!

Three more words: Mail order bride.
Don't you think it sounds like they've been writing music for videogames and kid's TV for a VERY LONG TIME?

"The whole 'song study' was cool but I find it a little weird that the band would go against the songs that were voted on."

The whole point of that mess was to illustrate how stupid focus groups are, how pointless and retardational (can I say mongoloid?) they are for picking anything. BLUE? BLUE!?!?! No blue is the wrong choice. After being mutato musica for such a long time, I guess they just got sick of it.

I think this is an album I'll listen to a bunch of times now, and then never again. It's fun for sure, but you won't find it on jukeboxes, ever. Not that this is a measure of success for anything, but you know what I mean.
Just wanted to respond to

I guess maybe I didn't get the point then. Behind the blue hat thing, maybe, but aren't 98% of the people who voted in the "song study" huge Devo fans? Is the joke on us? In that case, isn't it not really all that funny since they didn't really use the results for anything?

Also, you do actually find this album on jukeboxes. I remember seeing it on all the internet jukeboxes "new music" screen. Someone played "Watch Us Work It" (so its the bonus-tracked version to boot) and it sounded really great. "Don't Shoot" was played too and it went over quite well. I saw Devo live and "Don't Shoot" got one of the biggest receptions from the crowd. That's quite a departure from Shout/Total Devo/Smooth Noodle Maps.

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