How to Meet Girls (Honest Don’s/Fat)
by Scott Hefflon
The second release from the sensitive dorks you know and love for the instant classics from their self-titled record, “Van Halen” and “Sorry.” And for fans, we’ve gotten the in-between fixes with the theme from Buffy and tracks on the BASEketball soundtrack (“Don’t Hate Me [Because I’m Beautiful],” the best song Nerf Herder‘ve ever done) and My Records’ Happy Meals Vol. 2 (most notably “Pantera Fans in Love,” disguised as a band called Ten Speed Summer). So while the novelty of this novelty act has kinda worn off and How to Meet Girls is often just more of the same, it sometimes stumbles across pure genius. But that’s the way genius is, right? It’s not like you can predict it… So the smash hit, “Courtney,” is actually pretty lame (it ain’t no surprise like “Van Halen,” and despite whatever over-critical analysis system you use, it’s just not a great song), but seeing as it’s what commercial radio offers us (or jams down our throats, depending on how bitter ya wanna be), hell, it’s better than hearing Creed again. And while a lot of the lyrics seem like they’re first drafts hastily scribbled on deadline (hey, we all know that feeling, eh?), there are observations and turns of phrase (one-liners/punchlines, if you think in terms of stand-up comedy) that strike ya hard. A few of my faves are the self-deprecating “Feeling Bad” (this record’s “Sorry,” perhaps?) with the line “thought I’d look like Henry Rollins, but I still look like Phil Collins” (reminds me of Bloodhound Gang’s line “I’m not black like Barry White is, no I’m white like Frank Black is”), most of the infinitely catchy “Pantera Fans in Love,” the dark comedy of “5000 Ways to Die” (especially the part about someone you hate tearfully claiming you two were really close, then feeling up your girlfriend), and “Jonathan,” a wonderful hate ballad to oh-so-sensitive Jonathan Richman (the best part of his warblingly sung narrative in There’s Something About Mary was when he was shot dead in the end). There are other minor triumphs and finger-snapping moments, but it just doesn’t sneak up on ya the way the first one did… When yer “career” is based on you being quirky and funny, there’s always the fear of when the magic dries up, and that’s the case here. They milk a few clever phrases and some nice melodies for a 31-minute record that woulda been a killer 7″.