Being able to write humorously is a remarkably difficult task. It’s also often a thankless one. That’s true for folks who write prose, and for those who write lyrics.
Case in point: mid-90s act out of Tempe, Ariz., The Refreshments. If you remember them, it’s either from the lead single off their debut album, Fizzy Fuzzy Big & Buzzy. Or for penning the title track to the animated sitcom King of the Hill.
That lead single, Banditos, was a modest hit on the modern rock charts. But it (and likely the King of the Hill gig) also pegged the band as more of a novelty act, a band ultimately replaced by more refined acts as one’s tastes matured.
That’s a shame. Because Roger Clyne, the chief songwriter for the four-piece, is a masterful songwriter. Just one who happened to be able to deliver the occasional laugh along the way, both on this disc and sophomore album The Bottle and Fresh Horses.
From the rollicking, though dark, opener Blue Collar Suicide to the slow-winding Nada that closes the disc, there’s barely a misstep here. Banditos, though humorous, is one of the weaker tracks.
Name: Fizzy Fuzzy Big and Buzzy
Record Company: Mercury
Running Time: 53:27
- Blue Collar Suicide
- European Swallow
- Down Together
- Don’t Wanna Know