Playbill

Like the band or not, you have to appreciate the moxie of the Bloodhound Gang. Of course, that may be the only thing to appreciate about it.

As the title of its most recent album, Hooray for Boobies (Geffen), indicates, the Gang designs music custom-made for frat houses and teenage boys' bedrooms. With its predictable amalgam of punk rock and white-boy rap, the quintet takes some of its lyrical cues from License to Ill-era Beastie Boys, referencing the usual pop-culture staples and, of course, spewing its own brand of misogyny. But unlike the Beasties of old, the Gang's attitude is far more obnoxious, and the delivery less funky.

For people over 21, there's a good chance this band is too moronic for any kind of consideration. But for those who enjoy keg parties, topless bars and spring break, the Gang's tight, catchy arrangements and X-rated lyrics undoubtedly provide a lively soundtrack to the debauchery. In all fairness, the guys in the Bloodhound Gang are acutely aware of how stupid their music is (cue up the tune "This Is Stupid" from Hooray), an awareness that may be the band's most redeeming quality. For that, they deserve a little credit -- even if their music merits little.

Opening this show is the far superior Caviar, which is almost as campy as the Bloodhound Gang, but far less annoying. Although some may recognize Caviar for its kitschy single "Tangerine Speedo," part of the Charlie's Angels soundtrack, the tune is not the only treat on the band's impressive self-titled debut on Island. Both clever and catchy, the group's brand of guitar pop is heavy, while maintaining a keen sense of melody. Partial credit should go to the production team, which adds a layer of richness and uses a host of effects to enhance the sound. Yet no amount of gloss can cover up bad songwriting, and Caviar's compositional skills are tight and infectious, particularly on tracks like the rocker "Flawed Like a Diamond" and the groovy, Beck-like "Going Out Tonight."

If Caviar's studio prowess is any indication, this is one opening act well worth arriving early for.

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Mike Emery