By Reed Fischer
By Anna Gulbrandsen
By Jeff Gage
By Stacy Schwartz
By Natalie Gallagher
By Erik Thompson
By Jeff Gage
By Loren Green
See You Next Tuesday
"Hollaback Girl" is the number-one single on the Billboard charts. Fannypack: Justify your existence. Gwen Stefani and Pharrell Williams copped the cheeky '80s shtick proffered by Fannypack on 2003's bratty bass anthem "Camel Toe," only Gwen's got the added privilege of natural and accrued star power, and her thirtysomething teen pose is all optimistic populist (despite all the Fendi shout-outs and Harajuku waitrons). So when the main ladies of Fannypack--Jessibel, Belinda, and Cat--idiotically aim plastic AKs at the camera in the booklet of their second album, their rap-hipster aspirations seem lame compared to the G-rated scrimmage on Gwen's hit. Kinda crappy when a chamillionheiress donning vintage race-goggles and $300 white tees seems more real than underage Brooklyn underdogs rappin' about fightin' 'n' humpin'.
But Fannypack's producers, Matt Goias and Fancy, who assembled the band, aspire to higher than throwback beats and fun times on See You Next Tuesday. Like Stefani, they attempt rap-world legitimacy while dousing '80s pop in Baby Soft. But outside their nostalgia, the producers brought their A-game, and with the F-Pack chicas rapping in hip-cocked attitude and juicy Brooklyn slanguage, the album is almost as fun as it purports to be. Best is "Pump That," a Red-Bull'd jock jam about high-impact coital ramming: "Dump trucks blow the trumpet/Puppy doggies wanna hump it/Oh well what the hell...butterscotch on the crumpet." The song ends on a promise of late-night herb-puffing--counterintuitive to all-night sexaerobics, but whatever. Fannypack aren't about coherence; they're about gestures, symbols of better days, as with Debbie Deb throwbacks like "Keep On," and simplistic verse like "Sometimes I rhyme slow, sometimes I rhyme sick/But your wack rhymes always make me sick."
Fannypack's limited rap skills keep them from sounding like more than throwback party clowns, even with tracks like "You Gotta Know," whose beat apes Basement Jaxx's "Hot and Cold," and crunk-slang lyrics like "Corner crack slingers and redneck truckers/North Cackalacka South Cackalacka Make some fucking noise for Fannypackalacka/Smack all you bitchass backpackalackas." But goofing in the tradition of the Beastie Boys isn't much to be ashamed of, especially on "Seven One Eight," a sassy oompah dedication to Brooklyn--"you get rude in your underoos/So so moved by my rap haikus." So when they front like they're serious, it just confuses the situation. If it's any consolation, the adult songs didn't work on Gwen's full-length, either.
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