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Oingo Boingo - Only A Lad CD (album) cover


Oingo Boingo


Crossover Prog

4.17 | 24 ratings

From, the ultimate progressive rock music website

Special Collaborator
Crossover & JR/F/Canterbury Teams
4 stars Pretty red roses

Wet puppy noses

Men with rubber hoses is more like it

Oingo Boingo is in the ProgArchives? I'm happy to say it is so. With this, the first full album by this band, fronted by Danny Elfman (now more famous for his work on The Simpsons, just about every Tim Burton movie, and and an endless number of other films and TV shows), shows why they belong here.

Evolving out of a circus theater group called The Mystic Knights of the Oingo Boingo, this band began it's recording career playing an energetic mix of new wave, ska and punk. But the theater sound permeates the sound. The horns are brash and very unusual. They pepper the music by often playing circus type themes around the uptempo beats. And the rhythms can be odd as well. Elfman often adds and subtracts beats from measures of songs, giving his poop style more of an underlying prog feel.

The music, while often bouncy and dancable, is full of darkness as well. Elfman, with the help of guitarist Steve Bartek (who continues to work with Elfman on film music), often uses odd chord structures to keep the sound just a little off kilter, which is fitting, as his lyrics usually explore the underside of contemporary society.

Perversion, death, alienation, are just a few of the subjects sung about on the album. The most overtly progressive song on the album, Nasty Habits, is an ode to what goes on behind closed doors. Elfman joyously sings of the behaviors that people may want to keep to themselves, while the band keeps up a three ring circus of melodious deviance.

And this isn't even their best album.

Evolver | 4/5 |


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