Jim Florentine - Cringe 'n' Purge (Metal Blade)

"Cringe 'n' Purge" - The first part is correct; the second part is wishful thinking. ('n' isn't even a word.)

Metal Blade records seem to have taken it upon themselves to dispel the notion that metalheads are essentially desiccated and humorless individuals by signing metal loving stand-up comics such as Brian Posehn and Don Jamieson to the label. Apparently, the nexus between crass stand-up and heavy metal is well established in the United States; I personally couldn’t envision Steve Hughes or Andrew O’Neill getting up before Destroyer 666 back in my home town of Melbourne; but who knows – we might get a kick out of it?

Jim Florentine casts no illusions on his brand of comedy declaring he “bought his first house making crank calls posing as a special ed kid” on the US Comedy Central prank call series, Crank Yankers. If you imagine your muppet pals Grover and Guy Smiley putting on ridiculous accents and trying their darnedest to upset a hapless individual on the other side of a phone line then you’re not too far from the premise.

Jim’s honey-sweet baritone is pleasant to listen to but his jokes are understandably rooted in United States culture; if you don’t know the difference between the New York Jets and the New York Giants*, then you’re probably shit out of luck trying to chuckle along. He makes some jabs at the institution of marriage and living in Generation Y, imploring the government to ban heterosexual unions before making light of Google and God, only about a quarter of the punch lines carrying any weight.

Finally after six uneven tracks we hear the words “heavy metal” in context before he patronizes his intended audience; “I don’t know if you’ve ever heard of a band called, er, Slayer” he remarked, as my head slammed against my desk. Thank you Mr. Florentine for exploiting metalhead stereotypes at least thirty years out of date to stir up some cheap yucks in the crowd; we get it – metalheads are losers that can’t get laid because chicks aren’t into Slayer. Yeesh. Yet rappers look incomprehensibly cool even despite a tendency to dress “gay.” Yikes. By the time he asks everyone “Hey, are any of you having sex tonight?” it’s quite possible that this record might be earmarked for torture routines at Gitmo.

For a forty five minute set that’s light on metal and laughs the mind truly boggles as to why this pathetic cashgrab was granted a greenlight. Ask yourself: Do you like comedy? Do you like metal? Yes to either? Avoid.


(*Both are NFL teams. There is no difference: they both suck. Go Patriots!)