By Rebecca Bulnes
By Laurie Charles
By Chuck Strouse
By Lee Zimmerman
By Laurie Charles
By Falyn Freyman
By Hans Morgenstern
So far the band has produced a pair of homemade CDs, starting with a two-year-old self-titled batch of silliness highlighted by one anti-intellectual balls-out free-for-all ("Let's Blow Stuff Up,"), the tale of a female-fondling fiend ("David Cop a Feel"), a sermon on fiscal responsibility ("Brand New Credit Card"), and an impossibly catchy list of missing body parts masquerading as a breakup story ("Separation").
A newer item, Mow, contains the irrepressible "Tailgater's Lament"; Shapi's scheming, rhyming "Scherezade"; a pair of goofy Perdomo rockers ("Losers in Love" and "King for a Day"); plus a slew of DeAngelis gems, including the tongue-in-cheek ballad "Nobody" and "I Like Weed," an ode to wacky tobaccy that's more than just short-term memorable. "When I get home/And I'm tired of the bullshit/I'll go get stoned/Smoke a bowl, or take a big bong hit," DeAngelis shouts over a top-drawer power-pop chorus Weezer or Green Day would sell their skateboards for. "It's the beer of drugs!" he yells during the fade-out.
For all Perdomo's guitar athleticism, Shapi's psychedelic chops, and Butardo's funk-rock fuel, a curl of country/western smoke seems to waft in and out of songs at will, which DeAngelis chalks up to his dual membership in the 18 Wheelers. "It's unintentional twang!" he assures.
Together outside their soccer-mom-style family van, the foursome shares another laugh at the idea of changing the name and dumbing down the silliness for mass consumption.
"We're dying to sell out," DeAngelis teases.
"You give me the assless pants, and I'll wear 'em," promises Perdomo.
DeAngelis laughs, realizes the pants may not be enough. The Mowers are forced to cut the only path possible. "We have to go with talent," he laments. "It's the only chance we've got. We're not young, we're not good-looking, and we're not what a major label is looking for as a pop act. But I think we've got the songs."
The verdict: silly yet way sellable. If it really is the laughter we will remember, Avenging Lawnmowers of Justice are forever.