Originally Posted April 29, 2011
The great Metal Label Comedy Wars of 2011 have begun, and first out of the gate is METAL BLADE RECORDS with the release of LIVE AND HILARIOUS by DON JAMIESON. Indeed, the co-host of VH1 Classic’s THAT METAL SHOW is now signed to the same label as Gwar, Amon Amarth, and King Diamond. Now, before I go any further I need to get through the part that will have Jamieson’s fans labeling me as a “hater,” an “asshole,” or a “fuckhead” – I don’t think THAT METAL SHOW is very good. Good concept with sub-par execution, just like 90% of the shit on television. Not particularly funny, nor engaging. Maybe that’s why it’s on VH1 “classic,” a fact poked fun of by Jamieson himself on this very album – “It’s easier to find an Asian guys p*nis than find our channel,” he states. Hence, while we occasionally share news of which guests are appearing on THAT METAL SHOW, I seldom ever actually watch it. I tried to DVR it once, and the damn machine even prompted to ask me “Are you sure?” I chose “no.” (addendum: a year after posting this review, the show has grown on me – I really like it)
As for LIVE AND HILARIOUS, it’s recorded live and somewhat amusing.
Jamieson gets an intro courtesy of guitarist Ron “BUMBLEFOOT” Thal, best known as the guy that replaced Buckethead in The Axl Rose Bandaka Guns N Roses-ish. It’s a good start for the record – a metal guitarist playing into a metal comedian.
Keeping his New Jersey roots firmly planted throughout the performance, Jamieson’s thick ‘Jersey accent works well while delivering East Coast-flavored material that includes discussion of 9/11, Ground Zero, Muslims, and Terrorists; those famous “Jersey Girls”; and more. And yes, there’s mention of the JERSEY SHORE, Snookie, and Herpes. There’s some funny moments involving the current singer of JOURNEY, Goth Chicks that look like Alice Cooper, and a Car Bomber.
From a recording perspective, while the album was recorded in Lake Como, NJ this past January, what’s surprising is how large – or empty – the place sounds. When the crowd digs the material, they really get into it. Unfortunately, there’s a lot of space where the jokes just kind of land with a thud – not much reaction at all. They do sound really excited when the show comes to a close, so take that as you will.
At the end of the album we get a pair of acoustic songs with Rape Your Face and Die Pig Die, both of which serve as a reminder that comedic metal songs are better left in the more capable hands of Tenacious D or Brian Posehn.
Rating: 2.5 out of 5 Stars