Comedian and musician Trevor Moore clearly loves knocking down symbols of authority like milk bottles in a carnival game. He doesn’t just whip baseballs at the heads of religious figures, political deities, pop-culture idols and conflicted morality. He puts his own his unique spin on almost every throw to make sure they stay down.
Drunk Texts to Myself zeroes in on the talents that helped shape his sketch group and IFC show Whitest Kids U’ Know. The album features 10 original numbers that will feel instantly familiar for fans of “The Hitler Rap” and “The America Song.”
Moore’s targets are steeped in cruel satire, but anyone with a conscience knows it’s not done simply for shock; his tactics work nine times out of 10, in this case, literally. Songs like “Founding Fathers Rap,“ about America’s revolutionary leaders being bad-ass gangstas, and the “We Are the World”-style call to arms “Time for Guillotines“ are great showcases for Moore’s unique musical and comedic gifts, which were shaped in part by his love for the brutal honesty of The Far Side and Calvin and Hobbes (Moore had his own syndicated comic strip when he was 15) and his childhood spent touring with his evangelical Christian-rock-band family. That last bit of Trevor trivia makes “Pope Rap (Modern Day Profit)“ and the gospel spiritual “God Hates the Tips” (“God hates the tips of little babies’ dicks, so if your kid’s a male, even though he’ll scream and yell, you gotta cut it off or their little souls will burn in Hell”) even more hilarious.
The real challenge of making musical comedy is ensuring it remains both catchy and funny, and Moore maintains an impressive stylistic range. Ubiquitous musical-comedy maven Reggie Watts also helps out on the album’s title track, providing slow-jam background for Moore’s drunken stream of cellular consciousness (“Black people are the second worst at being president,” “Learn to Tokyo drift,” “Porno for Pyros is the one that sings ‘Tahitian Moon.’”) The aforementioned “Pope Rap“ is a brilliant, blasphemous toe-tapper, even if lyrics like “You remember Hitler’s buddy back from World War II? / He said ‘You didn’t see the Holocaust,’ I said Holo-who?” will damn listeners for all of eternity. The very clever Justin Bieber-esque “Help Me“ sneaks under the guise of electronica to drive a sharp (and much needed) kill-shot at bubblegum pop. The only miss happens with the heavy-metal epic “My Mom’s a Bitch,” sung by a spoiled kid listing the reasons he wants to live with his dad and his dad’s new girlfriend. It has a good sound, but the comedy feels unrefined, tedious and comparatively weak by comparison.
With the rest of Texts, Moore has carved out an interesting place for himself as a musical comedian. He doesn’t stick to one genre a la rockers Tenacious D or rapper T.J. Miller. He’s a Weird Al for grown ups.