Review- “Hi Dudes!”- B.A. Johnston

reviewed by Michael Thomas

When this album arrived in my mailbox a week or two ago, my immediate thought was a resounding “What the fuck?” Of course, I was also intrigued. The album cover is by far the strangest cover I have ever seen and with a title likeHi Dudes!I had no idea what was in store for me.

Turns out B.A. Johnston has been around for quite a while. It’s too bad I’ve just discovered him on this, his eighth album. It’s an album that you’ll want to listen to for the hilarious stories and lyrics that Johnston churns out.

In other words, the melodies aren’t really something to listen for. They’re not bad, just very minimal. A few songs are backed by somewhat 8-bit-sounding electronics, but most are accompanied by an acoustic guitar, sometimes strummed at insane speed.

If I were to tell you the humour of every single song I would ruin the album for you, but I am going to mention several songs.

“Raised by the Wooden Spoon” is an ode to being a kid, albeit in a very crazy family. In it Johnston sings about watching ThunderCats, Transformers and G.I. Joe, followed by horrible meatloaf for dinner. There’s also mention of a chainsmoking father and feeling like you’re being punched in the gut when the mother drinks a sip of tab.

“Sesame Street Fighter” is about a theoretical fight between Bert and Ernie, “‘Cause you know Bert could not take Ernie’s shit anymore.” Enough said. “Dirtbag Beach” and “Eye of the Douchestorm” are like companion pieces, each talking about a whole cast of characters you’ll love to hate. “Douchestorm” starts off with the lines “It hass been a while since I’ve seen so many faux hawks/It’s my least favourite hawk/Not as cool as mohawk or real hawk.”

There’s also huge video game nostalgia in the songs “I Miss You, Arcade” and “RPG.” The latter song gets very specific and actually pretty sentimental. “Final Fantasy VIIsaved my life,” Johnston sings.

I think that should be sufficient to at least get you interested. These songs are definitely worth a listen, and you may find yourself laughing with horror in some parts, especially at the song “Best Day Ever” about a McDonald’s coupon day. Shudder.

Check out Johnston’s website for details on how you can pick up Hi Dudes!

Top Tracks: “Best Day Ever”; “Truffle Shuffle”; “RPG”

Rating: Strong Hoot (Good) +*swoop*

3 comments

  1. Thanks, Mike, I can’t wait to sit down with this one- B.A’s ‘My Heart is a Blinking Nintendo’ is one of my favorite albums of all time. I gotta say, the only thing more entertainingly skid than a B.A. song is watching him perform his whole skid repertoire live and in person! I’ll definitely be posting a review next time he stumbles through Ottawa ;o)

  2. Yeah B.A. is great live. At Reflections in Halifax last month, he rolled around on the floor during “Douche Storm.” Back on stage, he said, “Why did I roll on the floor at Reflections? Now I have Hepatitis C.” So true. Great review, Michael.

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