Jimmie’s Chicken Shack
Fail on Cue
by Al Kaufman
Behind Matt Jones’ churning guitar, Jimi Haha begins his midle-age crisis on "17," the opening track of Fail on Cue. "The earth keeps spinning, but we’re not moving," he sings, as he moves on to talk about driving around and making out like he did when he was a hormone crazed teen. There is no doubt that this is an older band than the one that used to be all over MTV with their video for "High." Throughout the album, Haha continues to wax vitriolic on love, the war, and commercial music. The later topic getting special treatment on the sensational and riotous, "Making Babies."
I’m sorry for my last release
I should have tried to make some dollars
Instead I tried to make some peace
Haha maintains his humor throughout the album, but he sometimes sounds more like a bitter old fogey rather than an angry young man. The music, however, has all the muscle that one has come to expect from a Chicken Shack release. When not just tearing through songs in controlled frenzy, they maintain edgy ska, shuffles, and reggae beats. Then, of course, there is the blistering cover of Fugazi’s "Waiting Room," led by rhythm section Christian Valiente (bass) and Jerome Maffeo (drums). Only when they occasionally slow things down, such as on "The Quiet Ones," do they fail to maintain interest. This is good, fun, rock and roll, full of dust and glory, and more than a little attitude from as man not quite ready for a rocking chair.