"THEN MORE THAN EVER!"
Review by Chuck Miller for "Goldmine"
April 20, 2001
During the late 1970's and early 1980's, the comedy-rock group Blotto wrote songs about teen life and love, mixing wry and off-center situations into the lyrics of jump boogie and power pop melodies. They were a band just having fun, partying with their fans who were in on the joke. This collection of new songs and live concert recordings continue this style of music, and brings fans their first new Blotto recordings since 1983.

The first few songs on Then More Than Ever! continue Blotto's theme of teens looking for love, this time using cars as metaphors for life ("Sharp Car," "Jumpstart My Heart," and a live cut of "My Baby's The Star of a Driver's Ed Movie"). Once love has been found, it becomes gooey and cutesy ("1-2-3 Hang Up", as two people can't get off of a long distance call), or confusing and paranoid ("Girlfriend," as in "you only like me because I have a...").

Eight songs on this CD are from live concerts in the 1980's, as Blotto goes through chestnuts like "Romeo and Juliet" and "Secret Agent Man," throwing a few bars of "Walk - Don't Run" into the "Theme From The Munsters," and rewriting "We're An American Band" to fit their perspective as an Albany, New York-based band that hit the big time. They also add classics from their catalog, including a killer (pun intended) version of "My Baby's The Star of a Driver's Ed Movie," and an all-male version of their lounge-lizard sendoff "We Are The Nowtones."

One of Blotto's greatest strengths is to rewrite musical styles into a parody of that style - their surf hit "I Wanna Be A Lifeguard" and their heavy metal ode "Metal Head" were previous successes in those endeavors. On this disc, Blotto skewers soft-rock ballads and the people who listen to them ("Cosmic Love Songs"), and smacks radio stations for playing manufactured pabulum ("Elevator Music"). Sadly, these recordings are the last tracks Blotto recorded that contain the bass playing of Cheese Blotto, who passed away two years ago.

In fact, the only complaint about this disc is that these tracks should have been released twenty years ago when they were recorded. This reviewer can only hope that at this rate, the next Blotto album gets released sooner than the year 2021.

Then More Than Ever is available through Blotto's website, http://www.blotto.net.

- Chuck Miller