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All the Sweet Stuff

Gravy Train!!!!

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Album Review

Oakland, CA's Gravy Train!!!! is an ambisexual quartet obsessed with junk food, junk culture, cheap thrills, booze, club life, fashion magazines and sleazy sex. Lead singer Chunx is a fun-loving cheerleader in gold lamé hot pants, with a vocal style that's part cheerleader, part riot grrrl and part good-natured karaoke belter who sounds slightly stoned and giddy beyond belief. Everyone in the band plays at least three instruments, including drums, bass, synth, organ, harpsichord and guitar, but it's often hard to separate out individual players in the big, muddy, new wave influenced mush that they churn out with such unbridled enthusiasm. There's funk, punk, doo wop, hip-hop, rock, disco, and glam in the mix, with traces of garage band amateurism, B- 52's, Prince, Toni Basil, Bananarama, and other late-'70s and early-'80s bands weaving in and out of the picture as well. The band's musical zeal can't be doubted, but the pastiche sounds strained and overly referential at times. Lyrically, the band specializes in juvenile songs about sex. Their slightly cartoonish delivery manages to make ditties about masturbation, lap dances and other raunchy situations sound strangely innocent, like a child talking about something she doesn't really understand. Case in point, "Solo J/O," a song about phone sex, wherein Chunx tries to get a beau to give himself a hand job, maybe so she can watch. It's bad, thumping, and so catchy you'll hate yourself in the morning for succumbing to its charms. "A Delicious Treat" is about oral sex, and again, the driving amusement park organ and flighty female vocals induce an enticing bit of verboten teenage heaven, even as they slip into a sleazy strip bar coda. The title track is a real tickle too, but while individual tracks will have you jumping out of your seat, as the album wears on, so does your patience. It's all good clean (or dirty) fun but at times the enthusiasm just can't overcome the feeling that there's not much going on here that's very original. ~ j. poet, Rovi

Biography

Genre: Rock

Years Active: '00s

A distinctive fusion of old school rap, queercore, and theatrical new wave, the four-piece Gravy Train!!!! (one exclamation point for each member of the band, natch) began as the vision of singer/songwriter Chunx, whose lyrics about poorly endowed men and her appetites — for food and otherwise — provided the group's foundation. Keyboardist/dancer Funx helped set Chunx's vision to music, while dancers/singers Hunx and Drunx added visual flair as well as an appreciation of cute boys and...
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All the Sweet Stuff, Gravy Train!!!!
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