Rat Jackson’s got a one-track mind as bent toward carnality as Ron Jeremy’s, and that’s the nudge-nudge, wink-wink thesis behind their satirical rock. The libidinous id runs wild across these nine tracks with the playful indifference of a juvenile delinquent on a four-inch joyride. From “Slippery Slope” to “The Two Minute Sweat,” intimations and double entendres come hard and fast. Unapologetic and perhaps a little crass, there’s a no-nonsense vigor to their songs that suggests lost compunction and temerity. And why not? Rock ‘n’ roll was, after all, originally a euphemism for sex, echoing the music’s hot-blooded fervor.
Rat Jackson is up to that challenge. The aforementioned “Sweat” shakes, rattles and rolls like a conjugal trailer, as frontman Tad Jackson confronts an overly talkative fan and threatens to give her number to the drummer. The bar boogie thunder of “Older Dudes” includes an invitation to “wrestle around in the nude,” while the album-closing “Sex All the Time” struts a bit like Rob Zombie and functions as a checklist of locales, highlighted by “sex in your me-maw’s house.” Sure, it’s a little sophomoric, but rock’s long enjoyed a case of arrested adolescence.
Indeed, Rat Jackson’s about the primal thrill, from chugging rawk crunch to nasty guitar wail and sultry, slow-burn rhythms. An entire album of sexual provocation is probably a bit much, and the innuendo is a tad wearying at times, even if the tongue-in-cheek humor nearly rivals Spinal Tap. At least on “Motorcycle Horse,” which rides a particularly succulent riff, Jackson confesses, “My strategy is simple/ I don’t mean to be blunt/ I’m going to ply you with hard cider and Erotic Photo Hunt/ And if you feel like you’re getting in the mood/ I’ll show you how I’m different than any other dude.” It’s clearly an empty promise, but it’s the thought that counts, baby.
Correction (Aug. 5, 2010): We received this awesome correction from the band’s Chester Jackson: “The lyric in ‘Motorcycle Horse’ is ‘Erotic Photo Hunt,’ as in the electronic bar game. That’s slightly funnier and less creepy than ‘erotic photos, hon.’ We’d love to get a correction if possible. We have an image to uphold, you see. Think of the children.”