Devo's legacy is safe with the Kidz Bop scene. As Devo 2.0 entertains pre-teens with unironic covers of "Whip It" and "Uncontrollable Urge," Gerald Casale explores the new frontiers of de-evolution and where the band might have gone had they remained a viable unit. One possible future is soulful, full-bore melodic Rock cross-pollinated with Devo's jittery dance Pop as espoused by Casale's first solo project, Jihad Jerry & the Evildoers.
Devo fans will rejoice at the presence of the Mothersbaugh brothers and Bob Casale, while music fans will just be attracted to the infectious energy and enormous fun of Mine is Not a Holy War. Lyrically, Casale still examines the foibles of modern man but musically he works a massive Blues/Rock/Soul groove (assisted by Soul songbirds Alex Brown and Geri Lynn, Goo Goo Dolls keyboardist Dave Schultz and drummer-to-the-stars Josh Freese).
"The Time is Now" is the perfect lead track; propulsively poppy with plenty of hooky Devo bounce, you might compulsively hit repeat before progressing to the rest of the disc. Not surprisingly, there are equal amounts of the same goofy brilliance throughout the album as Casale assails the military complex through the side door ("Army Girls Gone Wild"), tributes sex both suburban and uptown kinky ("Beehive" and "Danger," respectively) and even resurrects the self-referential Pop song ("What's in a Name?": "My name is Jihad/Jihad Jerry/What's in a name?/A world of pain"). The name above the title is different, but nearly 30 years after Akron, Ohio, spawned a musical revolution, Gerald Casale can still whip it good. (Brian Baker) Grade: A