"The Bad Touch," the surprise hit off the Bloodhound Gang's latest album, Hooray for Boobies, may revel in the smart-ass attitude of rap-rock, but the song's new-wave roots lie much deeper than 1999.
Dosed with Prince references and Casio beats, "The Bad Touch" (RealAudio excerpt) could be an alternate on the Totally '80s roster and not by accident.
"[Singer] Jimmy Pop's a huge fan of the '80s," guitarist Lupus Thunder said. "Pretty much if it came before the '80s, he doesn't know it. We were listening to Jimi Hendrix one night and he was like, 'Who's this?' I come over to his house and he makes me watch tapes of 1985's MTV's '120 Minutes.' It's kind of an obsession with him."
By sampling a jukebox worth of "A-Team"-era one-hit-wonders and including a cameo by none other than Pac-Man, the Bloodhound Gang use most of Hooray for Boobies to pay homage to the decade in which they were raised.
The synth-pop influence on the record, which hit stores Feb. 29, climaxes on "Mope," a tribute to "motherf---in' Falco," which samples his hit "Rock Me Amadeus." The song also relies on the chorus to Frankie Goes to Hollywood's "Relax" and features the before-mentioned arcade hero "getting high on crack."
The slightly controversial "The Bad Touch," at #6 on Billboard's Modern Rock chart, draws from another of Jimmy Pop's obsessions the Discovery Channel.
"It's a true story," Thunder said about the song. "Jim was sitting around his house watching the Discovery Channel, and there were these monkeys f---ing on TV, and he's like, 'Man, even the monkeys are getting laid. And what am I doing? Sitting around writing lyrics for another dumb album.' So, I guess, the best things come out of boredom and depression."
The group's video for the song features bandmembers in monkey costumes running around Paris. One scene in which bandmembers attack two men dressed as sailors, arms locked, feeding each other french fries was edited out after a complaint from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation.
The Bloodhound Gang formed in the early '90s in Philadelphia, where they released various demos and independent LPs, including 1994's Dingleberry Haze and 1995's Use Your Fingers. The original group disbanded soon after, but re-formed with Jimmy Pop and Thunder recruiting several of their buddies, including DJ Q-Ball, to fill the voids.
The group signed to Geffen Records in 1996 and released One Fierce Beer Coaster, which generated the hit singles "Fire Water Burn" and "Why's Everybody Always Pickin' on Me."
The title of Hooray for Boobies came from a good friend of the band's, Nerf Herder singer Parry Gripp.
"He came walking out onstage one time during a U.S. tour and instead of yelling 'Hello, Cleveland' or something, he yells, 'Hooray for boobies!' " Thunder explained. "I literally peed myself that day. Jim and I talked about it for months. How cool would it be to name our record Hooray for Boobies? Every guy in the world would buy it. We never figured the record company would let it happen, but they said, 'No problem.' "
Gripp, who sings on the Bloodhound Gang tune "I Hope You Die," said he hardly remembers the incident.
"When you're drunk onstage, like I usually am, you say all kinds of crazy stuff," Gripp said. "But those guys are awesome. We're both funny bands, so we just hit it off."
Hooray for Boobies boasts the usual potty-mouth antics from the band, such as a real conversation between Jimmy Pop and his mom over words that rhyme with vagina, which serves as the intro to "Three Point One Four." In the song, Jimmy Pop declares: "Do you know what I really want in a girl? Me."
On "The Ballad of Chasey Lain," already a hit single in Germany and the UK, Jimmy Pop serenades the popular porn star with lines such as "Mom and Dad, this is Chasey/ Chasey, this is my Mom and Dad/ Now show 'em them ti--ies."
Though Lain swears off the band in the track following, Thunder said the Bloodhound Gang has traditionally fared well with adult film stars.
"One of my favorite nights, we went to a party in L.A. that was basically a porn star party," Thunder said. "I was sitting with Brittany Andrews, and she's telling me the most f---ed up things. I was like, 'I can't believe I'm sitting here.' That's the coolest thing about being in a band. It gives me opportunities that people would kill for."