Green Jellÿ
Musick to Insult Your Intelligence By

In a visual comparison, both Gwar and Green Jellÿ wear elaborately goofy costumes onstage (Gwar actually taught Green Jellÿ how to make their own latex costumes). Musically, the bands share the comedy shtick, though as Gwar leans toward metal, Green Jellÿ seem satisfied to play loud punk rock. The biggest difference is that Gwar has made many more crappy albums than Green Jellÿ, who seemed to have fallen into obscurity following their MTV smash “Three Little Pigs” from 1992’s long-form video album Cereal Killer.

The band has undergone their share of obstacles. After Kraft Foods, makers of Jell-O brand gelatin, threatened to sue them in 1992 for copyright infringement, the band changed their name from Green Jellö to Green Jellÿ. Then the Kellogg Company found the portrayal of their classic cereal characters (Toucan Sam, the Trix rabbit, the Lucky Charms leprechaun, and Snap, Crackle & Pop) disturbing, forcing the band to change the cover art and video content of Cereal Killer. Finally, Metallica—possibly the band with the highest number of lawsuits in metal history—threatened to sue because the riff from “Enter Sandman” was copped on said album. Despite these setbacks, Green Jellÿ managed to capture the enthusiasm of the ’90s MTV generation, toured with Testament, and jumpstarted the careers of Tool’s Maynard James Keenan and Danny Carey, both of who played on Cereal Killer.

Musick to Insult Your Intelligence By is the band’s first studio recording since 1994’s nearly forgotten 333. It reunites the original Cereal Killer line-up, minus (of course) Keenan and Carey. Opener “Sugar & Spice” is indicative of the overall vibe here. With lyrics like the kindergarten rhyme “snails, nails, and puppy-dog tails,” you know what level of humor/absurdity can still be expected from these guys. Any band that writes a song called “Gefilte Fish” with the verse “gefilte fish, don’t skimp on the horseradish”—not to forget another verse sung entirely in Yiddish—deserves props.

Not at all a tune about sandwiches, “Albert Fish Liverwurst” harnesses the lyrical prowess of Church of Misery as interpreted by Dr. Seuss. “Stabby the Clown” is half Stephen King’s It, half Ringling Bros. and Barnum & Bailey Circus, similar to Gwar’s metal vision. Green Jellÿ do love their punk roots (“Geek Girl,” “You’re Gone,” “Trick or Treat”), and “Nothing to Say” features female vocals like a cross between L7 and Babes in Toyland.

“The Ballad of Swing Low Scroty” is mind-numbing pap that ends with a cheeky “I got blisters” line that mimics the coda of the Beatles’ “Helter Skelter.” Musick to Insult Your Intelligence By isn’t going to win over any fans of current metal (Lamb of God fans, steer clear), but it does serve as a nostalgic reminder of what constituted early ’90s MTV metal, no Internet or iPods, cassette tape trading, Anthrax T-shirts, sending cash in concealed envelopes, and the simple joy of scouring record stores for unknown albums with cool cover art.

[Visit the band's website]
Written by Chris Ayers
February 22nd, 2010

Comments

  1. Commented by: Benny

    “no Internet or iPods, cassette tape trading, Anthrax T-shirts, sending cash in concealed envelopes, and the simple joy of scouring record stores for unknown albums with cool cover art.”

    Those were the days….


  2. Commented by: Nick Taxidermy

    I will never forget the video for 3 Little Pigs. still one of the most insane moments in MTV history.


  3. Commented by: Chris Ayers

    Benny, you are too right…I miss ’em.


  4. Commented by: Cynicgods

    Really like these fuckers. I’m glad they’re back.

    Does anyone remember that Misadventures Of Shitman vid? Total classic.


  5. Commented by: Big Tom

    I absolutely love the new album. It sounds exactly like…Green Jello…which suxx, but it is cool because that is what we’ve come to expect! Seriously, it is a great album and sounds pretty much like Jello’s other stuff. The ballad of Swing Low Scroty is a real tear jerker. I’ll leave you with my favorite line:

    “Scroty rode up on his horse
    Saddle bags fer his gnads, o’course”

    —-

    To go back to the days when metal and punk was actually fun and obscene…Priceless.

    Maybe Green Jello can get on Fox’s Red Eye program like GWAR. Or, maybe not.

    **Note: This random post not endorsed by Kraft foods.


  6. Commented by: Old Pick Axe

    I love Green Jello. (Which is what I will always call them, regardless of what the corporate Gestapo thinks.) I have this album, plus an original pre-name change, uncensored copy of the 1991 “Green Jello Suxx” EP. (If you can get that EP do so, it’s GJ’s version of Megadeth’s “Hidden Treasures” EP…a real slab of pure awesome.)


  7. Commented by: Chris Ayers

    Old Pick Axe, thanks for your comments! I still have the original Green Jello “Cereal Killer” VHS tape before the name change; that’s gotta be worth some cash nowadays. But I will definitely check out that EP you mentioned — thanks again dude!


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