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Are You Wigglin?

Gravy Train!!!!

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Album Review

Since releasing the appealingly scruffy debut album Hello Doctor, Gravy Train!!!! have become a tighter, more pulled-together outfit (musically speaking, anyway; the group's lyrics are still a hodgepodge of pop culture, sex jokes, and their own lingo). However, this isn't necessarily a good thing: the rough edges that added to Hello Doctor's D.I.Y. charm are missing, and missed, on the band's second album, Are You Wigglin? The band has traded the cheap and cheerful, ghetto-fabulous punk-rap of its early work for a new wave-inspired sound that occupies a space somewhere between the cheerleading chants of Toni Basil's "Mickey" (which Gravy Train!!!! quote on the album's very first song, "Jonny Makeup"), the gross-out camp of Total Coelo, and the B-52's' wilder moments. Flirtations with glam rock ("Gotta Get Outta Batwiddicals") and '50s rock ("Hump Lites") show that the group has possibly even more musical terrain to explore. However, singer Chunx's vocals are also shriller and more prominent than they were on Hello Doctor, and are more than a little hard to take on songs like "(Everybody Do) The Thingy." Meanwhile, singer/dancer Hunx's role is downplayed, which is too bad, since his cameos on Hello Doctor were some of the album's highlights. Most of the time, Gravy Train!!!! come across as kooky, loud, and proud of it; they carry this attitude off on story-songs such as "Darque Tan," about a guy who fries in a tanning booth, and "Ghost Boobs," the tale of a formerly well-endowed girl haunted by the loss of her assets after a crash diet. Too often, though, they cross the line from kooky to annoying, especially on "Nudies from the Road" and the skit "Bloopies." Though Are You Wigglin? isn't as brash or immediate as Hello Doctor, it moves fast and has its fun moments, but just how many there are of those depends on your tolerance for high-pitched vocals and silly sexual innuendo.

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...
Full Bio
Are You Wigglin?, Gravy Train!!!!
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