Jesse & the 8th Street Kidz
Jesse Camp is an idiot. Or maybe not; but he plays one on TV. Mercifully, he’s already been thrust through the notoriously revolving door at MTV, but given the transient nature of pop culture iconography, Camp’s brand of spaced-out, hipster geekiness may fall out of vogue with the 12-year olds who make up his fanbase any second now. So before the cash cow was milked dry, someone with dollar signs for pupils decided Jesse should record an album. Jesse & The 8th Street Kidz boasts a collection of free-spirited, almost childish garage rock; a pop style that can be charming when done well, but worse than any other music on the planet when done poorly. And I am hard-pressed to find any other words to describe the record except to say that it really sucks. At best (and I am being VERY generous here), this album sounds like a second-rate Faster Pussycat without the benefit of Taime Downe’s raw sex appeal or charisma. Songs reflecting Camp’s limited world view, as he rawks-out to the simple pleasures of partying, hanging out, and French kissing his girlfriend, pander to the lowest common denominator. Camp’s toneless squealing is difficult to endure for any length of time, and even guest appearances by guitarists Steve Hunter and Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen fail to transcend the exceptionally derivative material. Imagining that this album of teeny-bopper gutter-punk will appeal to anyone over age eighteen is a stretch. When it comes to singing, Camp should save it for the shower.