1982’s Combo Akimbo was Blotto’s Big Chance — their opportunity to be recognized on a national scale, to be the Weird Al of their day (which, of course, was exactly the same day). That chance came with the video for their single “Metal Head,” a brilliant parody/homage that showed they could play hard rock and make fun of it at the same time. (Getting Blue Oyster Cult’s Buck Dharma to play the lead guitar part may have contributed.) That tongue in cheek approach got their video a fair amount of airplay on MTV, and suddenly people who had never partied on the porch with us singing along to “I Wanna Be A Lifeguard” knew who Blotto were. (“Lifeguard” had also gotten plenty of play on MTV, but it was largely before anyone had MTV.)
That didn’t translate into national success, however. The group would disband in 1984, although it frequently got back together for very well-received reunion shows in the Albany area.
There are a bunch of other good songs on this album — “I Quit” could easily have become a working class anthem with its refrain of “You can’t fire me / I quit!” “When The Second Feature Starts” is a retro-romantic bit, and “Too Much Fun” was certainly a resonant song for me in 1982 (“Last night I had too much fun / Acted like a fool in front of everyone”).
But there is a work of absolute genius on this album, an incorporation of popular culture that I’ve never heard equalled: “Goodbye, Mr. Bond.” It’s sung from the point of view of pretty much every James Bond villain — “You singlehandedly outwit my guards / Make love to my woman / Beat me at cards” — and ends with a wonderful maniacal laugh. “Mr. Bond, it’s time . . . for you . . . to die!!!!” Scroll down for the video, it’s fantastic.
Got this when it came out. Overall, it never saw the turntable time their first two EPs did, but the high points are super high.