- It's Cool
- TV Trouble
- Acid Song
- Hot Stupid
- RTX Go-Go
- Do It
- Rad Times
- My House
- Foxy Playground
- Killer Weed
[Editor's Note: We know this album came out a while ago, but "Billy" really fucking loves it and never got a chance to review it, so we decided to make his dreams come true.]
Is she fucking with us? Is this for real? Only Jennifer Herrema, having plumbed the shag-carpeted depths of stoner metal’s legacy for the last dozen years, would think to make such a funky, leather-fringed confection. Black Bananas, the latest incarnation of her post-Royal Trux project RTX, marks a clear departure from the hell-ride of her last two albums. Rad Times Xpress takes the template she’d been working with--essentially the 1970s cool rock chick--and incorporates the last 40 years of pop music. I would never in a million years have thought that Herrema could rap the way she does on the title track, but of-fucking-course she can. She can do whatever she wants. She’s Jennifer fucking Herrema.
Gone are the weepy dope paeans that marked her early work, replaced by crunchy, triple-tracked fuzz guitars and auto-tuned Jennies chirping “Hot Stupid.” It’s a step in the right direction for Herrema, forging actual new ground (there are funk songs, she’s kind of a heavy metal funk singer now), and indicating where rock and roll could go next. She pushes the whole retro-fetish thing to its perverse conclusion. It’s as if she’s teasing us. It’s not retro because it’s happening right now. For all the fucking around, dubious vocal effects, and endless wah-wah noodling, Black Bananas have found a way to use retro themes and actually sound new.
It’s like we all ate the same meals all our lives, but she digested it better. So many shitty records have come out in the last five years, aching for the golden days of Italo disco, a prettified vision of the past. Black Bananas knows that it wasn’t all Moogs and eyeliner, that kids smoked mad weed, robbed liquor stores, and fucked in the backs of minivans. It would be a shame if the record languished underground, another private gift to Herrema’s stoner subculture fans.
This record proves that pretty much anyone else trying to sound like Zeppelin (or whoever) is a fucking joke. It also proves, however, that as cool as her not-giving-a-fuck posture may be, it’s just as much a pose as the Van Halen riffs. Jennifer Herrema totally gives a shit. She wants to make great records and she’s fucking done it, again.
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