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 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

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 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Gravy Train!!!!
Are You Wigglin'?
Kill Rock Stars

Rating: 5/10 ?


July 25, 2005
Hey, kids! Take off your pants and put on your tightest t-shirt, because the wait is overů It's Gravy Train!!!!: two girls and two self-proclaimed 'gay wads' who really know how to rhyme, and the evidence isn't just in their lyrics - the Oakland foursome is comprised of Hunx, Chunx, Funx and Junx.

Initially, I was skeptical whether or not Gravy Train!!!! could pull off a decent follow-up to 2003's electroclash hit, Hello Doctor. Musically, the band has matured since their debut, having added guitar, bass and live drums on some tracks, but Are You Wigglin? still sounds oddly familiar. Reminiscent of early B-52s mixed with Freezepop, they add electronic drum beats, maracas and an ever-present organ to make this sound all their own.

The album starts fairly mildly with "Jonny Makeup" - which only contains a single cocaine reference - and "Darque Tan," which simply tells a story about a man who burns to death in a tanning bed. While this is admittedly tame fare for Gravy Train!!!!, the third song, "Stop the Wedding" calms any fears of compliance as the lyrics revert back to more classic material: graphic, detailed descriptions of nudity and sexual activity. "And so that guy I had just met last May/He saw my cameltoe then canceled his wedding day," Chunx raps in "Stop the Wedding".

The examples that follow, one after another, are played for their very specific fan base: "What happened last night?" asks an effeminate male voice during a phone conversation in 'Bloopies'. A woman on the other end playfully replies, "Well, one thing led to another... and we decided to execute a piggy!"

As Hunx teaches everyone how to perform the "latest forbidden dance" in "(Everybody Do) the Thingy" - "First you stick it in then you wiggle about" - Gravy Train!!!! openly revel in self-awareness. This is a band that clearly knows who they are, like it or not. The second half of the album covers more interesting subjects such as one's breasts falling off as the result of a diet ("Ghost Boobs"), having sex with your grandma ("Hump Lites") and the dressing that "tastes so good" ("Pussy Sauce"). At long last, the album ends with the sound of someone breaking wind.

Gravy Train!!!! albums are not for the faint of heart. Theirs is some of the filthiest music out there, with lyrics fraught with vulgarity and sleaze (not to mention the album's booklet, which depicts a raunchy rollercoaster ride). Are You Wigglin?, like Hello Doctor, may be funny the first time through - and even a bit catchy - but the shock value wears off quickly and all that remains is a nasty aftertaste. To answer the album's title, a doubtless plea for solidarity, my answer remains a very enthusiastic 'No!!!!'.

Reviewed by Oran Stainbrook


See other reviews by Oran Stainbrook

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