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Hanky Panky Parley Voo!

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Album Review

As a great man once said, there's a fine between stupid and clever, and the New Duncan Imperials have built a career out of grinding that particular boundary into the dirt. NDI are a band who revel in all that is gloriously cheesy in American culture, at once treating all that surrounds them as an epic joke and embracing the same joke for all it's worth. Of course, this might seem like too grand an analysis for a band that writes songs like "I'm Schizophrenic (No I'm Not)," "Polka Pocahontas," "Motel 666," and "Six Pack of Love," and of course you'd be right; NDI aren't anti-intellectual so much as they inhabit an alternate universe where dumbness seems to work in your favor. Simply put, the New Duncan Imperials are pretty much a joke band, but they're a joke band that delivers the goods — they've worked out their shtick with admirable care and attention to detail, the best songs happen to be really funny, and the band rocks surprisingly hard when it shifts into forward gear. "Feelin' Sexy," "Motel 666," and "Don't Hate Me Just Because I'm Beautiful" rave up with a sinewy, minimalist groove, their cover of Hasil Adkins' "Chicken Walk" is almost as feral as the original, "Jimi Page Loves Country" offers some valuable clues as to where guitarist Pigtail Dick picked up his style, and "Jägermeister" is just fast, stupid, and manic enough to become some sort of last-call anthem. Plenty of bands have tried to turn white trash culture into some sort of musical joke, but the New Duncan Imperials are one of the few who sound like they'd be thrilled to have a new double-wide with a fridge full of PBR, and Hanky Panky Parley Voo! is the sound of the party they'd throw after winning a hundred bucks from a scratch-off lottery ticket. Light fuse, run away, and enjoy.


Genre: Rock

Years Active: '90s

Chicago trash-rockers the New Duncan Imperials comprised guitarist Pigtail Dick, bassist Skipper Zwakinov and drummer Mr. Goodtime Dammit. Debuting in 1990 with the LP Hanky Panky Parley Voo, the trio released a series of subsequent efforts including 1991's The Hymns of...
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Hanky Panky Parley Voo!, The New Duncan Imperials
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