Title: Nasty Habits

Artist: Oingo Boingo

Album: Only A Lad

Year Released: 1981

What It Is: Boingo personified? At least the early Oingo Boingo, before Weird Science and Danny Elfman’s foray into soundtracks which turned into his whole raison-d’etre, or however the heck they spell it. It’s got the horns, the guitar riffs, a twisted lyric and those fun close harmonies.

Riffage / Hookage: It’s kind of all over the place. The opening theme is pretty neat (showcasing the manic side of Boingo) but there’s not a hook or riff per se. No matter, I don’t think this was meant for that. It has another purpose. There is nice slide work from Steve Bartek and a neat bass line from Kerry Hatch.

Cowbell?: Not here. Boingo wasn’t opposed to whacking a lot of things, though!

Words Of Wisdom: “People act so proper when they’re going ’bout their business
Cup of coffee, friendly conversation
‘Til they get home,
‘Til they get home

Turn the phone off, lock the door and shut the curtains
Make sure that the neighbors are without suspicion
No one will know
No one will know”

That’s the ‘close harmony’ part that I love. Is it the actual chorus, or a bridge?

Mixology Report: Probably not for yer Ma or Dad, unless they’re cool for school. It may blanche the blue hairs minds!

Top Five Genius Results: Big Mess – Devo
Friend Or Foe – Adam Ant
Angst In My Pants – Sparks
Mental Hopscotch – Missing Persons
Party At Ground Zero – Fishbone

For The Good Of The Order: Boingo’s success started with some cool MTV videos and “Weird Science”. Unfortunately, they smoothed out the quirky edges that endeared them to me and became more conventional and commercial, as it were. But the early albums, though inconsistent, were golden!

Here’s a live cut (from 1991) of this tune! Glorious! The guitar is more prominent here.