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The Cliftons - Sex, Drugs & Alcohol (Cover Artwork)

The Cliftons

The Cliftons: Sex, Drugs & AlcoholSex, Drugs & Alcohol (2002)
Super Speedway

Reviewer Rating: 3.5


Contributed by: Dante3000Dante3000
(others by this writer | submit your own)

The Cliftons are a band who take their name from the Andy Kaufman character Tony Clifton. To understand how suited the name is, one must imagine the first time I saw this band live. It was some time in 2003 and they were opening for the Dead Kennedys. The place was crammed with high school students .


The Cliftons are a band who take their name from the Andy Kaufman character Tony Clifton. To understand how suited the name is, one must imagine the first time I saw this band live. It was some time in 2003 and they were opening for the Dead Kennedys. The place was crammed with high school students wearing Black Flag and Misfits T-shirts (don't believe me, just look at the Cliftons' homepage). The Cliftons were the last opener and took the stage with attitude in tow and lead singer Billy Bob Clifton wearing a clearly exposed thong and the words "Fuck me" written on his chest. During their set, the band tore through songs and the audience with comments like "How the fuck are you just standing there? Are you going to go to school tomorrow and be like, â??Dude I saw the Dead Kennedys last night and stood the whole time with my arms crossed. It was awesome?'" Their set climaxed with the bassist at the time (I believe), Jonny Nauseous, exposing himself, then piggy-backing the guitar player and falling ass over head through the drum kit. The backstage antics were apparently much worse and led to members of DK demanding a separate trailer at the next venue to avoid the Cliftons altogether. How could this much insanity not spark interest in their Super Speedway release Sex, Drugs & Alcohol?

A real easy way to describe this release is skatepunk in the vein of the Dwarves, but it's more than that. The album is set to break-neck speed even for skatepunk, with nine songs pulling in just shy of the ten-minute mark. The songs feature lyrics like "The time is coming / the time is near / the time is coming / to get more beer," ("Bottles and Cans") that aren't going to win them any fans in the art community. But it may just be the Cliftons straight-forward manner that separates them from the pack. In a world of music that is ever increasing in seriousness, the Cliftons have apparently found a way to stop time in the boisterous and volatile skatepunk era of the early-to-mid eighties.

While the album cannot possibly be as disturbing and offensive as the band's live show, it tries damn hard with songs like "Registered Sex Offender" and "I Ain't Cruzin' With no Fucks." Much like the aforementioned Tony Clifton, the band seeks to find humor in offensive and unsettling ways. Perhaps this is a movement to lift the weighty sobriety that has plagued music as of late. Or maybe the Cliftons just enjoy cheap humor and pissing people off. Regardless of their motives, the band always seems to divide crowds into those that find them innovative and uproarious and those who find them immature and offensive. When all is said and done, the Cliftons are not the band you listen to with your long-haired friends while you discuss world politics. This is the music you'd imagine listening to while jackhammering a transvestite hooker in the alley behind some bar where the Dwarves are playing.

 

 
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Fine Print: The following comments are owned by whoever posted them. We are not respon sible for them in any way. Seriously.
Sirens (October 5, 2005)

Oh man Dante I didnt see that, hahaha

" I'm a small minded, disobedient, large, hairy, ape-like man."

Stick it to the system brother.... oh well I guess stick it to your parents and uhhh... Darwin, if youre into evolution.

-Sirens

Sirens (October 5, 2005)

actaully yeah, we do need bands like these, i still laugh at their names.

Anonymous (October 5, 2005)

we need more angry drunk bands to balance out all the pop band signing to majors and the rise of "punk" boy bands.

Anonymous (October 3, 2005)

this band didn't play with the dead kennedys... but you and everyone else seems to think they did...

the kennedys broke up in '86. someone tell east bay ray.

Dante3000 (October 3, 2005)

Good for you. And no one cares if you change your opinion, it is (after all) yours. This band isn't about advancing music by leaps and bounds. They're about getting people to stop taking themselves so god damned seriously. Perhaps, you'd need to live in the Bay Area to fully understand. Currently, the scene here is weighted down by terribly trite bands that have been designed to sound serious, emotional and intelligent. Unfortunately, this is so fucking commonplace here, that it is now become cliche. The Cliftons may very well be musically stalled in an era of music that is long extinct. They are however, fully aware of what their role is, and don't mind helping a few deserving bands (and pissing off a few deserving people) along the way. Besides I hardly doubt with their dozens of fans their retarding effects are going to be too wide spread. Now if you don't like that, fine. I'll leave you to whatever amazing band you feel will redefine and reshape the musical landscape of the future. Now be a good little boy and remember I'm not good, little, or a boy. I'm a small minded, disobedient, large, hairy, ape-like man.
-Dante
P.S. And I would have preferred you cleared up the issue like you did originally. I can actually respect someone who explains their opinion (like the respect of a man on a message board is worth a lot).

Anonymous (October 3, 2005)

"p.s. as for being retard...Way to mock people with a birth defect, you asshole. Christ, learning disabilites aren't funny. At least call them gay, people can choose to be gay"

MMMMM... nope. I think retarded is the correct term. I'm not mocking anyone. Besides, retarded does not necissarily(spelling, I'm lazy) mean that I am refering to a human with a birth defect. Loosly defined it means to slow down. For example, "The lack of rainfall retarded the growth of the grass" This band, in my opinion, is retarding the development of music. Are you picking up what I'm putting down? Now be a good little boy and refrain from beating this dead horse. And for those of you who want to rip me a new asshole, go ahead, it still isn't going to change my opinion. Cheers.

Dante3000 (October 3, 2005)

Don't worry Sirens, it gets better. The lead singer goes by Billy Bob Clifton (eh), and the drummer is Alby (I'll be) Wasted. But honestly, their not designed to be taken seriously, but the names are pretty awful jokes.
-Dante
p.s. as for being retard...Way to mock people with a birth defect, you asshole. Christ, learning disabilites aren't funny. At least call them gay, people can choose to be gay.

Anonymous (October 3, 2005)

This band sounds retarded. Score is for retarded bands like this one.

Sirens (October 3, 2005)

Jonny Nauseous
hahahahaha
What a p u n x name. Punks come up with the lamessst names.
Well I guess then you have Avenged Sevenfold owning them all.. hahaha Sinister Gates. What a joke.

Dante3000 (October 2, 2005)

I don't know what got in Brians ass to post two of my reviews but I'm stoked. Sadly I haven't written a review since this one so I don't think I'll have another review posted for at least three months (however, the first review I wrote for Static Revolution never go posted, that may have actually sucked).
As for the album I always thought it was good (not great) so I feel a 7 is pretty fair (it seems like a C album). But their live shows are probably one of the most oddly enjoyable things ever. I interviewed them a while back, and I may be doing it again so hopefully I'll find out if they ever plan to put out another album.
-Dante

AlmostPunkEnough (October 2, 2005)

damn Dante, 2 reviews in a row. not bad. someones getting a special treat in bed. tee-hee.

i never really got into these dudes, maybe i'll give it another try.

lushj (October 2, 2005)

"This is the music youâ??d imagine listening to while jackhammering a transvestite hooker in the alley behind some bar where the Dwarves are playing."

Good line! The Cliftons are a fun fun show, but it's a tough niche to fill after bands like The Dwarves and GG have already blazed such a remarkable trail. I like these guys, but it's like Oppressed Logic- how much is schtick and how much is being offensive-just-to-be-offensive? (Not that pissing off conformists within the scene is ever a bad thing, it's just tough to rise above the bar set by "Blood Guts And Pussy"...

This record's not as distinctive as their live show, maybe a new record will be better- this one's been around for a few years.

wehavecomeforyourchildren (October 2, 2005)

how the fuck did these guys open for the dead kennedys in '03? they broke up YEARS ago.

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