Jim Breuer & The Loud And Rowdy
Whether it's Spinal Tap gloriously losing the plot, the escapades of Tenacious D getting them into trouble, or the phenomenon that is Dethklok tearing up the album charts, comedy and heavy music have long made for great bedfellows. Jim Breuer is a man who understands this, and with Songs From The Garage, his first full-length with longtime backing band The Loud & Rowdy, he delivers both in his inimitable style. "I basically want the crowd to have a blast, and I write what I feel that I would love if I was in the crowd. So, going into the record the music had to be killer and have great hooks, that was most important, and I wanted to balance that with something that's funny," he enthuses. "I wanted to bring the smile back to hard rock that has a nice punch to it - and in doing so hopefully bridge the gap so my generation and their kids will come see this live together!"
In realizing this, Breuer has delivered a record that is pure, unadulterated fun, and yes, it rocks. From crunchy opening romp "Thrash" through the swaggering "Who's Better Than Us?!" to the gloriously deranged excitement suffusing "Sugar Rush", his exuberance is infectious, and he challenges you to keep your ass from shaking and the corners of your mouth twitching while it thunders from the speakers. Throughout, his influences bleed through, comfortably blurring the line between hard rock and metal while every anthemic chorus lodges irrevocably in the hippocampus. While a great many 'comedy rock' records are ultimately pretty throwaway and last as long as the joke stays funny, this is not the case with Songs From The Garage. True to his game plan, Breuer has made great songs, ones that persistently draw a smile and will fit comfortably when shuffled among the likes of Megadeth, AC/DC, Judas Priest and more contemporary bands, such as Avenged Sevenfold and Halestorm.
The inspiration for all of this comes from Breuer's adolescent immersion in the world of heavy music, falling in love with the aforementioned Priest and AC/DC, alongside the likes of The Scorpions, Ozzy Osbourne, Metallica and Van Halen. The fire to start a band was soon lit under him, though the flesh was not so willing to begin with. "I didn't pick up a guitar until I was older, I always wanted to be the front-man! I tried once and realized it was going to be a lot harder singing than I thought, I took singing lessons but never found a band that was into playing what I wanted to play," he says. However, while his standup career blossomed the desire to rock remained, and following a stint as a cast member on Saturday Night Live - during which time his character "Goat Boy" would achieve legendary status – he hit the road with a show that mixed comedy and the music he got a kick out of playing.
Backing Breuer up is The Loud & Rowdy. First hooking up with drummer Mike Tichy after a show at a local bar, he was soon introduced to bassist Joe Vigliotti, later reaching out to axeman Metal Mike to bring "that metal touch", and cement their lineup. Initially known as the Jim Breuer Band, without even having a record under their belt it did not take long to turn a lot of heads - and start them banging - and they soon found themselves on some pretty massive stages, including Rock On The Range, Metallica's Orion Music Festival and the mother of all metal gatherings, the Wacken Festival. "Wacken blew my mind! I couldn't believe that people from Germany would not only understand me but get into everything I was doing! When we played the Metallica festival both days I was taken aback by the crowd that showed up to our set. I was doing stand up and band songs/bits that I did in the early 2000's, and they were 100% into it the whole way through. The second day, there were more people and they were mouthing the lyrics and anticipating certain choruses as we were going into them! That's when I knew: if they are going this crazy over stuff they've never heard - imagine if they knew what we were doing because we had a record!"