Distro Gem #1: Huggabroomstik - Sloppy Kisses and Serious Guitars


I've taken it upon myself to now and again write little reviews of various awesome items in the OJ distro that might get lost in the immensity of it all.

The first one I've decided to highlight is the album Sloppy Kisses and Serious Guitars (2005), which might be my favorite Huggabroomstik CD and is probably the psych-noise band's leanest and poppiest recording. Sure, they have made some memorably poppy tunes since then -- the two-parter "Diamond Eyeballs" from Alternate Huggabroomstik and "In The Sun" from Ultimate Huggabroomstik (which is out-of-print!?! we've got to do something about this!) stick out in my mind in particular. Yet, Sloppy Kisses consistently highlights the band at its most focused and entertaining. Even the album's requisite freak-out track, "The Rainbow Ofof Shit," is downright concise compared to later jams like Ultimate's 14-minute track, "Duck Hunt."

While noises both distorted and wacky provide a textural bedrock and horns provide an added fullness, the key rock-band elements (guitar, bass, drums, singer) holding together the framework of a given song are never obscured (as they sometimes can be, say, during a Huggabroomstik live show), and they highlight the strength of the writing on this record. "Unstuk The Pages" is both heart-breakingly beautiful and kinda icky, as it describes the experience of looking at a nudie magazine. The lyrics of "I Like Rocks" are so earnest, naive, and endearing, that even despite an occasional lyric like "Maybe you can find me/ A rock for my heiny," you could imagine it on a children's album.

Of course, Sloppy Kisses also has a pretty unique gimmick. After the nine songs of the album play, the album plays again in reverse. (This gimmick was later copped by Gnarls Barkley with the double-vinyl version of their Odd Couple album; one vinyl featured the album, while the second record featured the album backwards.) Maybe Huggabroomstik chose this gimmick to maintain their "unlistenable" cred in the face of making an incredibly accessible album... or maybe they were just high and thought it would be funny. Whatever the reason, despite all odds, it works. Whenever I listen to the album, I listen all the way through the forward and backward stuff, and I think it's great.

While no one can dispute the awesomeness and insanity of Huggabroomstik's in-progress trilogy -- consisting of Ultimate, Alternate, and the forthcoming Intimate -- this album highlights the band at a moment where they had not only figured out how to play their instruments, but decided to play them really well. Serious guitars, indeed. http://www.olivejuicemusic.com/artists/huggabroomstik

--Justin Remer


skcor ekil i

jo's picture

i like rocks backwards is totally amazing! so is shit rainbow.

we all need room to breathe

Out Of Print

Chris Andersen's picture

As I recall, Ultimate Huggabroomstik is available for free download somewhere. At least, I think that's how I got it.

I did not steal it, that much I know.

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oh, here it is.

Neil's picture

the link to download:

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