Review by Andrea Guy (Review You)
Rating: 5 stars (out of 5)
There are some albums that you know you are going to like, just by seeing the title. How can you not like an album called Triple The Pickle? It is impossible, unless you are lacking a sense of humor. This album is for the kids...maybe.
"Doing The Rock N' Roll Hop" opens the album and its 60s vibe gives it a universal appeal.
"Dear Lunch Lady" is pure brilliance. The song is described by the band as possibly The Pogues in preschool, and truthfully, Mick Brady does sound like Shane MacGowan. Again the song may appear to be for a more youthful audience, but as they sing "put a hairnet on" because there's hair in their fries, you know that only an older listener will truly appreciate these brilliant lyrics. And, it should be noted, that while Brady handles the vocals, the lyrics on Triple The Pickle were all written by Jeff Mondak. Any fan of "That 70s Show" will instantly envision Hyde's mother Edna, when this song plays.
From rock to Irish punk, it is hard to imagine where Mick Brady may go next, but on "There's a Party In The Kitchen" he delivers a bit of old school country. Joe Ryan's pedal steel guitar gives this song its wonderful appeal. It is a folksy song about kitchen utensils after everyone has gone to bed. Such fun!
Next up is "I Saw My Teacher At The Beach" The title is enough to produce snickers from young and old alike. The lyrics take the song just the way most kids would expect it – the shock and surprise that our teachers are real people and have lives outside the classroom. The best line by far has to be
"Congress ought to make a law to stop the kind of thing I saw. I saw my teacher at the beach."
As you reach "Serengeti Betty" the adults are taking this album away from their kids and sticking it in their own collection. This song is reminiscent of the songs of Woodie Guthrie, whose tunes have been given special treatment by Wilco and Billy Bragg. Jeff Mondak’s lyrics are youthful, playful and fun, but they definitely aren't what you'd expect when you pick up a children's album.
"Toledo Has Zombies" is going to be a new Halloween anthem. It is dark and creepy but with a touch of wit similar to Warren Zevon. Toledo's zombies very well may be hanging out at some point with "The Werewolves of London."
"The Mysterious Room” is another song that could be a mash up of The Pogues and Warren Zevon. "The Mysterious Room" being the teachers’ lounge.
The album's title track is pure fun. "Triple The Pickle" has a very old fashioned tone. The song conjures images of saloons in the Wild West. Oh and it really doesn't have anything to do with pickles. This is another one of those songs that has lyrics that the adults will probably appreciate more than the kids. Mondak’s wit cannot be hidden.
"Triple the pickle and double the rent. I don't think it's broken, but Lordy it's bent."
Brady manages to include songs that will appeal to parents and kids, and some of the songs geared to the kids will be enjoyed by their folks as well. It is all because of his snarky wit.
It is difficult to pick a favorite. Could it be "The Off To School Blues" which just about everyone has sung at some point of time or another or "Inspector 47" a song about that invisible inspector that checks every package being sent out. In this case, the inspector's job wasn't done very well.
Triple The Pickle is an album that everyone can enjoy, at least everyone with a good sense of humor, who still happens to be a kid at heart, or even a kid!