On Second Listen: Beardo – Beardo

At first glance, it’s hard not to be confused with the man known as Beardo. That first listen to Jeremy Gritter’s record doesn’t seem to help his case either as its surface is the same old song and dance of the drug addicted high-school drop out trying to make a buck in the music world. After a few more runs though, the self-titled record drops the hint that maybe there’s something to be heard from a man who seems two lines away from blowing his nose off his face.

All drug and rehab jokes aside, Gritter is just doing what every artist does by using what he knows. He does it so unapologetically though that it can be a bit off putting at times. He’s a shock artist at work with the explicit and hilarious “I Want to Fuck” as just one of many punk rap anthems whose track title says it all. Really, every track is an anthem of sorts to the lifestyle Beardo claims to be living. They’re over the top and revel in shameless self promotion so take it all for the face value that it’s worth.

Album opener “Girls N Pills” rhymes of the fun you can have from stealing your dad’s money for drugs. The 80’s punk theme continues on with suicide anthem of “Alien Man”, and “24 Hour Party” turns the adolescent punk up a little more with “drink” chants. I can’t help but wonder though, why is a man of his age still bitching about high school?

Musically, there’s a lot of credit to be given to Gritter. His gutter rock style manages to scrape together a few note worthy hooks on the record, and even a worth while Beck sample on the downer track “Nothing Changes”. As for those hooks, “On The Run” reaches out during the chorus while slamming indie rock shows. At the end of the record, “Freak” gives you one of the best tracks on here with it’s fast and loud energy. It’s moments like these that keep you from pegging the obvious criticism and show that there could be a glimmer of something to like with Beardo.

The punk rock gets dropped a few times with hip-hop tracks like “Losers” which show off his ability to string together a simple yet funky beat. “John Lennon” carries another odd ball but entertaining loop, even if the words “John Lennon got shot, that’s what happens when you talk” make you roll your eyes.

Gritter seems to be not to far from where he started back when he moved to L.A. from small town Pennsylvania. His dream of being a rock star hasn’t worked out quite as he’d hopped with his record sitting on the shelves for a couple of years. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, especially since he’s now picked up some notice. The only problem is that time has made Beardo feel dated making the social and political references just as predictable as the drug abuse and womanizing.

That could be his point though. He’s not trying to be anything he’s not, and Beardo is the shameless party record that he wanted it to be. It’s loud and vulgar with nothing meant to be taken too seriously, even when he gets fired up on “Fight a Revolution”. It’s a party record, plain and simple, and like all party records you just have to turn it up, grab a drink, and let it be the background to a wild night.

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