Jim Florentine - "Cringe and Purge" CD Review (Metal Blade) ~ BrooklynRocks: NYC Music Blog

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

Jim Florentine - "Cringe and Purge" CD Review (Metal Blade)

Jim Florentine "Kids" by Metal Blade Records

Jim Florentine - 'Cringe and Purge' CD Review (Metal Blade)Wikipedia defines cringe comedy as “a comedy genre that uses awkward and embarrassing situations to cause audiences to feel uneasy”. The problem with this definition is that uber-PC folks need to realize that everyday life has a large number of “awkward and embarrassing situations” and Florentine touches on a number of these situations over the course of his new disc.

While Jim Florentine is well-known for his "Special Ed" and "Bobby Fletcher" characters, Cringe and Purge (Metal Blade) is straight-forward stand-up comedy delivered in a matter-of-fact tone similar to Richard Pryor’s Live on the Sunset Strip. It should be fair warning to the easily offended that Florentine recently opened up for the Big 4 tour (Metallica, Slayer, Megadeth and Anthrax) but for those who didn’t get the hint, he starts his show with the comment “if you DVR the show “Glee”, this is going to end badly for you”.

This 45 minute disc is divided into nine tracks and Florentine’s subject matter ranges from the inanity of modern life (“Superstitions”, “Old School Parents”) to the potentially inflammatory (“Gay Guys”, “Religion”, “Hip-Hop Sticks”). Florentine takes on each of these topics with well-developed stories and anecdotes which allow the audience to relate to his feelings and observations. Some of his funnier narratives touch on parents, sex and Catholic priests, the typical angry meathead fans at a Slayer show, and the stupidity of today’s “matching bling” hip-hop culture.

While there are shocks, surprises and stepped-on toes over the course of Florentine’s delivery, his stories and the rhythm of his delivery separate him from comedians who use “shock for the sake of shock”. Florentine will drop a bomb in the middle of one of these narratives and nonchalantly move on to the next topic.

For anyone who appreciates stand-up comedy, Florentine’s social commentary on Cringe and Purge is funny, poignant and most often dead-on.

Jim Florentine