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March 3, 2024

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Butterfly Joe
Butterfly Joe (Razler Records)

By: Alex Steininger

Former Dead Milkmen frontman Joe Genaro is back with another quirky mix of his trademark sense of humor and offbeat tales of life. His lyrics ("I'm a stupid imbecile/ La da da da da/Sitting in my windowsill/ La da da da da" from the opening track, "Happy Imbecile Song") always hit you right in the face, leaving you stunned and not sure what to expect. Then there is the music, which is just as quirky, jumping around from various degrees of punk rock to pop and folk elements spread throughout.

"I'm feeling terrible/ I'm feeling bad/ My boyfriend, he hurt me/ And he hurt me bad/ He threw a brick at my head/ Lucky for me, he missed/ Then he tied me to a tree/ And tickled my wrist," the opening verse to "Don't Do This To Me Baby" finds Genaro tackling lovers quarrels with a tongue-in-cheek smile that will never fail to get you smiling. Backed with undeniably hook-laden folk-pop, Genaro has no problem reeling you in before tickling you to death.

"Autumn Leaves" finds Genaro crooning a sweet ballad, "Whale In The Sea" finds him diving into quirky pop-rock, and "Seventeen" is a punk-by-way-of-new-wave treat. "Yesterday I Was Talking to My Sister" is a blazing folk rocker, smothered in Genaro's joke-filled voice and punch line galore words. And "Radio" is a heavy, slow bash-in-the-head rocker.

Just as the jokes or tales of life from the bent mind of Joe Genaro never get stale, neither does the music. Always able to shake it up while shaking you up, Butterfly Joe is a fitting follow-up to the Dead Milkmen. Quirky, punchy, and filled with life, this album satisfies the void left by the Milkmen. I'll give it an A-.

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