Classic Album Review: Meat The Bruiser Band (1984, WRIF 101)


A recent trip to Detroit saw me returning home with a bounty of used records acquired at one of the Motor City’s many fine record shops. Amongst that bounty was a collection of musical parodies recorded by one Richard T. Bruiser, aka Dick The Bruiser – not to be confused with old-school wrestler Dick The Bruiser, although his image does grace the album cover.

No, the Bruiser whose dulcet tones appear on these tracks is actually George Baier, whose on-air character was presumably inspired by Dick the Bruiser’s wrestling persona. At least I’m fairly certain that’s what’s going on here. It’s not entirely clear to me, but what is clear is that removed from any deeper context, the songs featured on this collection are, well, not the greatest. Though I’m not sure any deeper context is necessarily required – “deep” is definitely not a word one would use to describe this record.

A more apt description of Meet The Bruiser Band would be to call it what it is – a collection of mildly amusing yet subpar musical parodies. As parodies go, this is a far cry from “Weird Al” Yankovic. Hell, this isn’t even at a Bob Rivers level. Rather, what The Bruiser Band brings to the table are such gems as “Fat Cat Strut” (a parody of “Stray Cat Strut”), “Bars” (their take on Gary Numan’s “Cars”), “96 Beers” (“96 Tears,” naturally) and “This Bud’s For You.”

As you might have guessed, the lyrics are pretty much mostly about drinking (sample lyric: “Here at the bar/I feel safest of all/I get drunk as a skunk/And throw up on the wall.”), which also gives one an idea of the sort of topics that might have been covered on the WRIF morning show back in the day. As for the musical merit of these songs, the backing tracks are serviceable enough, probably performed by a bunch of session musicians making an easy buck. So, good for them, I guess.

As far as the vocals go, well, they’re pretty much what you’d expect from someone who goes by the name Richard T. Bruiser. Having done a bit of research, I can confirm that Baier’s vocal performance is actually a decent approximation of what the original Bruiser sounded like. Though for those unfamiliar, I suppose it also works if you imagine that he’s voicing a slightly crazed muppet. Same difference.

Like I said, Meet The Bruiser Band is not that great, but it’s not all that bad either. And for Detroiters of a certain age, I imagine there’s probably some nostalgic appeal to the album. For the rest of us? Well, I will concede that as far as Classic Album Reviews go, we are really stretching the definition of “classic” with this one, but so be it. It’s certainly not one I’ll be throwing on the turntable all that often, but it’s definitely got its own goofy charms.

Posted on by Paul in Albums, Classic Albums