Puzzle Gut

Puzzle Gut

Trauma/Interscope, 1997


REVIEW BY: Pete Crigler


So this has to be one the weirdest records I’ve come across. Looking over Discogs one day, I discovered that the guitarist/singer of the early ’90s hair metal band Baton Rouge had teamed up with the rhythm section of the late ’80s hair metal band XYZ and formed the inexplicably named Puzzle Gut, got a major label deal with Interscope, teamed with renowned producer Thom Panuzio and changed their sound to become more punk rock to try to attach themselves to the popular but waning bandwagon of the punk renaissance.my_heart_sings_the_harmony_web_ad_alt_250

The first lyric on the opening track “Metamorphosis” is “My nipples get harder when the wind is cold.” From the get go, you’re left scratching your head trying to figure out what the hell this is and why it even exists. Frontman/guitarist/lyricist Lance Bulen is one of the most laughably bad ‘punk’ singers I’ve ever heard. This is not in his wheelhouse and you can tell right away. This band strikes me as another record label bandwagon wannabe, trying to make some quick money on the coattails of Green Day, The Offspring and Rancid. Puzzle Gut is on the same level as other major-label also-rans like Parade of Losers and Klover, even though the latter band contained several members of Gang Green and Red Rockers.

What can be said about a song like “The Cow”? Just ridiculously stupid. Even down to the album’s artwork, everything is just weak and lame AF. The third song “I Know It Well” is the first decent track here because they slow the tempo down and actually try to write a song. Listening to this record I can’t help but be stunned at how awful and lame it really is. Songs like “Orange” and “Psycho Pop” are just stupid but not as bad as “9th Ward,” which features some of the worst vocals I’ve heard on a ’90s alt rock record. But wait, there’s more. How about an almost six-minute song entitled “Another Mother Fucker on My Porch”? Talk about a slog of a song, it almost feels like it’s never going to end.

So that’s the saga of Puzzle Gut. Obviously the record went straight to the cut-out bin and the band quickly disbanded and soon enough the members went back to their hair bands and this oddball experiment was never really spoken of again. Without a doubt one of the ten worst records of the ’90s.

Rating: F

User Rating: Not Yet Rated



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