Brian Posehn | Live In: Nerd Rage (Relapse)

You don't have to be a metal nerd to enjoy this stuff.

 


Relapse, the label that offers up the angry noodlings of Mastodon, High on Fire, and Dillinger Escape Plan, has disgorged the world's first metal-comedy album. (Unless you count Europe's The Final Countdown, that is. Or anything by Manowar.)

Brian Posehn Live In: Nerd Rage packages some of Posehn's bits from the Comedians of Comedy documentary (see it-it rules, dude), some new stuff, and some joke-metal songs he recorded with VH1 whore-boy Scott Ian. Posehn's "dorky" take on metal is killer for guys like, um, me, who love Ronnie James Dio and Iron Maiden and feel the shame of that forbidden love all the while. A sticker affixed to the CD cover says it all: "If George Carlin and Rob Halford had a baby," writes Rob Zombie, "his name would be Brian Posehn, ‘hellbent for leather' and hilarity."

Posehn jokes about the time when, as a junior journalist, he got the chance to interview W.A.S.P. Guitarist/alcoholic Chris Holmes supposedly told the eager young fan to "grow some tits" if he wanted an autograph. It's funny because it's metal.

In one of his joke-songs, "Metal by Numbers," Posehn mocks metalcore bands with "Cookie Monster" vocals, chanting "Cookie, Cookie, Cookie!" just like the muppet-and just like the vocalist for As I Lay Dying. The man has a point.

His parody of metal songs intended to drive the listener to suicide in order to create controversy, "Try Again, Again (Also Adam's Song)," is already familiar to fans of HBO's brilliant Mr. Show sketch-comedy show. Posehn and co-conspirator Bob Odenkirk recreate their roles as idiots from the band "Titannica" to introduce the track here.

You don't have to be a metal nerd to enjoy this stuff, though. Posehn, best known as "that retard from Just Shoot Me," issues a warm welcome to nerds of all flavors. He describes himself as a fat, be-titted stoner, and a horny married guy whose new wife has purged the house of all porn. He recounts the lowest moment of his nerdy childhood: being beaten up by a lesser nerd: "a special-ed kid…flipped out and beat the shit out of me with a Space: 1999 lunchbox. I swear to god. And that was the last day I rode the bus."

Maybe the funniest bit on the whole CD is a dead-on appraisal of George Lucas' methodical removal of the Star Wars legacy from the hearts of nerds worldwide: "Episode 1 and 2 were like a favorite uncle trying to put his weiner in my mouth," says Posehn. "And then, two years later, it happens again… There's a paranoid part of me that thinks that [Episode 3: Revenge of the Sith] is not even a movie-it's just a fuckin' elaborate prank on my sorry ass. Like, I'm gonna walk into an empty movie theater and the doors are gonna slam shut and then fuckin' Lucas is gonna rape me. I'm gonna be in a crying nerd pile on the floor, and…he's gonna put on a Greedo mask and do it again. And call it ‘The Special Edition.'"

Exactly.

The comedy-metal songs on Nerd Rage would have benefited from discernible vocals; Posehn's funny lyrics are buried under the raging guitars. But we're here for the phlegmatic comedian's routine, anyway, not his novelty songs.

And his schtick is actually the normal portion of the Comedians of Comedy tour film. Patton Oswalt goes for the jugular, Maria Bamford is nuts like a female Emo Phillips, and Zach Galifianakis explores the land of so-not-funny-it's-funny-except-it's-still-not-funny.

If Posehn's material is occasionally lukewarm, though, open the CD's booklet for a shot of pure hilarity: an old photo of the comedian, in his hesher heyday, with long, straight, blond hair down to his nipples and a shit-eating grin on his goofy face.

He's naturally funny-and yet, so metal.

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