Back in the day, when it came to comic social protest songs there was one name that led all the rest: Tom Lehrer. Songs like “The Vatican Rag,” “I Wanna Go Back to Dixie,” and “My Home Town” were catchy, clever and cutting in their critique of what was wrong in the country and the world.
Now along comes Trevor Moore to take up the Lehrer cudgel, and take it up he does, but less as a cudgel and more as an assault rifle. His debut album from Comedy Cental, Drunk Texts to Myself, is an all-out, no holds barred attack on everything from the founding fathers to Tom Hanks (from the sublime to the sublime), attacks that make Tom Lehrer’s critiques sound mealy-mouthed. There doesn’t seem to be a sacred cow that Moore won’t make into hamburger, and while he will have many listeners rolling on the floor, I imagine that there will be just as many, if not more, lamenting what this world is coming to. This is not an album for the faint of heart, for the easily offended, and perhaps even for those who take some time to get offended.
He starts by taking on American idols George Washington, Thomas Jefferson and Abraham Lincoln as they rap about drugs and guns in the “Founding Fathers Rap.” Then he moves on to the parents and record executives who exploit young kids like Justin Bieber; the Pope and the Catholic establishment; circumcision; and even motherhood. Whoever you are, whatever you believe, it is likely you will find something in this album to upset you, even as you find yourself grinning at something that might offend sombody else. Using a variety of musical forms, everything from rap and metal to country and pop, and getting by with the help of a lot of his friends, Moore at his best skewers the contradictions between what we profess to believe and the way we practice what we believe.