Jihad Jerry and the Evildoers
Mine is Not a Holy War
Once a Devotee, always a Devotee. That’s the message I get from this semi-solo project of Gerald Casale, founding member of Devo. Casale is the face on the jacket, but three other ordinal Devo members back him up – The Mothersbaugh brothers, and his own brother Mark. Let’s see… who does that leave out? Oh, yeah, the drum machine. With the addition of two female vocalists and a high-end roster of pick musicians, it’s not 1978 Devo, but it’s very similar.
You don’t hear that much Devo on the punk oldies station as you would hope. They certainly broke ground, but for some reason they haven’t resonated with the same audience twenty years after the fact. Just as the original Devo obliquely attacked the social issues of the day, Jihad Jerry has a few things to say about America, Iraq and sex. ‘“Army Girls Gone Wild” comments on the Abu Ghraib Prison scandal, “Danger” fantasizes about what would happen if man’s fantasies came true, and “I Need a Chick” is pretty self-explanatory. The ground here is already plowed, but the guitar sounds the same, even if the clunky, angularity has been smoothed off. Jihad Jerry has adopted a kindler, gentler arrangement style, and you’ll never ask “What the hell is THAT?”