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Brian Posehn - Live in: Nerd Rage

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Artist: Brian Posehn

Album: Live in: Nerd Rage

Label: Relapse

Review date: Jul. 12, 2006

It's unlikely one will encounter a more aptly-titled album this year than comedian Brian Posehn's Live In: Nerd Rage. Posehn's perplexing size and shape disintegrate before the warbling howl that is his voice, a banshee at 16 rpm driven by surfer DNA, peppered with wookie-like extra chromosomes.

Like his fellow comic from the "Comedians of Comedy" tour, ringleader Patton Oswalt, Posehn's post-comedy emerges from darker places than his network tenure (as the wilted Cro-Magnon mailboy on "Just Shoot Me,") ever allowed. Similarly, Posehn avoids trad observational humor (no talk of those little bottles of booze on airplanes, for example) and swings his axe around in the glass house of modern geekdom, offering extensive commentary on his own physique, late night television, porn, and cats. After whipping his countercultural critique into momentum, Posehn's barbs cover an extensive field of targets, including Paris Hilton, camel toes, Mexican babies, male cleavage, moose knuckles, and young male metalheads with breasts. A basset hound licks his wife "downstairs," and monkeys rip off a man's testicles (a true story, for which Posehn alone can't be credited, but he redraws ball humor boundaries with his retelling of "Monkey Birthday").

Posehn's life-long alienation, semi-insulated by TV fame, doesn't flow as much as it spits and fires like a shotgun on a merry-go-round. The direction of his ire shifts constantly from nerd, to jock, to himself, to generic torment. His obsession with computing, crank calls and masturbation (and the word "wiener" – wieners are everywhere in Posehnland), paints a picture of an apartment no one wants to visit, but he occasionally lets in a little light with affectionate references to his wife and his own nice-guy innocence.

As a bonus round of geek fantasizing, Live In: Nerd Rage includes Posehn's forays into metal with the posse cut "Metal By Numbers," which features the comedian's growling muppet baritone. He delivers a series of staccato rhymes about, what else, metal, accompanied by members of Anthrax and Armored Saint, as well as an interview with the faux-band Titannica, as originally featured on Mr. Show. Posehn the metalhead doesn't necessarily take his favorite genre to new places as much as he hurls it around in the untidy mess of his nerd kingdom, with HALO on the Xbox and smoke in the air.

By Andy Freivogel

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