Len Give The Rule-Bound The ...Bum Rush

Eclectic album from a head-scratching anomaly of a group.

Where the hell did Len come from and who forgot to tell them the rules

about making cool, credible music?

Len — a head-scratching anomaly of a group that fuse just about

everything under the sun and anchor it with a hip-hop vibe — hail

from Canada. And, to answer the second part of that question, thank

god no one ever told them how to play the game correctly. Only

people who don't know how to go by the rules would release an album

that features guest appearances by hip-hop's clown prince, Biz Markie,

and Poison's C.C. Deville.

For a Cliff Notes summary of You Can't Stop the Bum Rush,

strap on your seatbelt: Beginning with the singsongy bubble-hip-pop

of "Steal My Sunshine" (RealAudio

excerpt) and ending with the inspirational quasi-gospel

of "Crazy 'Cause I Believe (Early Morning Sunshine)," (RealAudio excerpt), the album zips

and weaves between early-1980s German synth-pop and Sugarhill-era

stripped down beats and rhymes, and everything else in between. While

they're at it, Len engage in some big-beat, power-chord guitar

screamers, electro-boogie, cheeseball pedal-to-the-metal punk, E-Z

listening Bacharachian silliness, and straight-up balladry.

Virtually every song is different but, fortunately, Len's eclecticism

doesn't sound forced and, amazingly, each song stands on its own.

I love the fact that the album's prettiest, most radio-friendly song,

"Big Meanie" (RealAudio excerpt), is also the one that features the most profanity. The

string-heavy ballad opens with, "It could be said/ You've got a fat

head/ You're way too mean/ A little fucked up it seems/ It's been so

crazy, too bad/ And a shame so sick/ Mean and lame/ A shitty

motherfucking pain."

Such contradictions as these make Can't Stop the Bum Rush so

fun.