Picks and Pans Review: Coming Back Hard Again

updated 09/05/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 09/05/1988 AT 01:00 AM EDT

The Fat Boys

By all rights, the Fat Boys should have been a here today-gone tomorrow novelty act. They have none the less founded a successful and enduring career on their obese physiques and playful rapping. This is not really an indictment of our times. Beneath all the blubber and buffoonery lies considerable talent and cleverness. Few of those underlying gifts, however, are evident on Coming Back Hard Again. Because they had so much success last year redoing the surf anthem Wipeout, the Boys have chosen two more nostalgic remakes for this album. But besides a bass line weightier than the trio's immense Human Beat Box, Darren Robinson, their version of The Twist adds nothing to that 1960 hit, even with original twister Chubby Checker as guest vocalist. And their slapdash version of the Kingsmen's Louie Louie is a disappointment. The Boys also include Are You Ready for Freddy, their contribution to the sound track of Nightmare on Elm Street IV: The Dream Master. That's three customized, off-the-shelf songs on one album. If this trend keeps up, the Boys will be hiring themselves out for telephone answering machines and birthday parties. There are a few bright spots, such as the go-go beat on We Can Do This and the surprisingly effective reggae mood of Big Daddy. But most of the record is frivolous, and on some cuts, such as Jellyroll, pretty obnoxious. If the Fat Boys put out any more collections as hound-dog lazy as this, they'll give fat a bad name. (Tin Pan Apple)

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