Party with me, Oh My God

Pub date July 10, 2007
SectionMusicSectionMusic Features

› a&

The Toxic Avenger pawing ferociously at his slime-dipped guitar while an army of redneck zombies feasts on a moshing drove of punk rockers — now that’s a cool visual. Maybe Giuseppe Andrews — Cabin Fever star and an independent filmmaker who’s had a number of his movies distributed through Troma Entertainment — can keep Toxie and his flesh-eating pals in mind for his next music video for Chicago prog poppers Oh My God. With one director’s credit for the quartet already under his belt, Andrews recently added a second by helming the video for the title track off the band’s fifth full-length, Fools Want Noise (Split Red). Andrews’s vision for the song might not be a gore-packed freakfest typical of the Troma catalog, but there’s no denying the oddball humor and sicko charm exhibited within his art. As the video opens, a grizzly, bronze-tanned old-timer dressed in a thong shimmies in place to vocalist Billy O’Neill’s rabid whine and snapping fingers. "Two eyes swimming in a sea of fat / A liver drowning in a vodka vat / You want more of that / Do you want more of that? / Well the TV is on and the radio is on cuz nobody can make a choice / Fools want noise," O’Neill proclaims between random shots of a lip-synching cheeseburger puppet and trailer trash conga-dancing around a swimming pool. Just as the song erupts, Andrews — clad in a bathrobe and flaunting a set of horse-size wax choppers — pops up onscreen and slams his body around a living room.

From his Chicago apartment, OMG synthesizer player Ig said he was a bit puzzled by the video’s kooky imagery on initial viewing but has since warmed up to it. Andrews’s actors, he explained, are "the mostly elderly people who live in his Ventura trailer park, where he lives along with his dad. He chooses to live in this trailer park and to use his fellow residents as actors — many of whom are ex–drug addicts, Vietnam vets, etcetera.

"Basically, he makes John Waters’s films look like Disney movies."

But enough about Andrews. Playing a mash of disco, glam, and hard rock, OMG has garnered plenty of fans of its own through its flamboyant live shows and relentless tour schedule since forming in 1999. Uniting bustling organ, bassy grooves, and Bish’s propulsive drumbeats with a heap of distortion, the group sounds like the musical spawn of Robert Fripp and Gary Richrath, that guy from REO Speedwagon. Somehow work in a jealous Bob Mould, and the result is Fools Want Noise, a guitar-laden punk onslaught ripe with devil-horned salutes and tempos jacked up by adrenalin.

The album also finds the combo joined by friend and Darediablo guitarist Jake Garcia. Though all of OMG’s previous endeavors were accomplished without the use of guitar, Ig said, the three didn’t have a "prior plan to get punky or guitary. We just jumped at the chance to record with Jake." Then again, the added guitar really shouldn’t be a shock to fans — it just adds to OMG’s ever-teetering dynamic.

"I have an organ sound that’s very distinctive, and no matter how pliable Billy’s voice is, he’s still such a Billy," Ig said. "Bish too has a drum sound style I could pick out of a lineup.

"And somehow, once Billy’s background, mine, and Bish’s get poured into a beaker, the result consistently is the unique chemical called Oh My God." *


With the Faceless Werewolves

Thurs/12, 9:30 p.m., $5

Hemlock Tavern

1131 Polk, SF

(415) 923-0925