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Album Review

OK, seriously. Even at a time when it seems like there's this unofficial underground contest going on to see who can come up with the dopiest band name around, Let's Get out of This Terrible Sandwich Shop is just staggering in its unalloyed awfulness. Even the knowledge that it's a deliberately awful, pointless band name doesn't help. It's just inexcusable, not least because in fact, their second album is a quite enjoyable trawl through the lo-fi D.I.Y. end of contemporary indie pop. The Chicago quartet (two men, two women, all of whom sing and write) claim a background in the second city's massive improv comedy scene, but they wisely avoid simple facile joke songs. Mostly, that is: "Bionic Dolphin" and the dorky "VIP Room," a falsetto-voiced pastiche of '70s funk that sounds like a lesser retread of Beck's Midnite Vultures, are the album's hacky lowlights. Those two aside, Listening is a varied and often engaging album that tries on and abandons different musical styles song by song, leaping from Bunnygrunt-style twee pop ("Larlie") to 1920s Tin Pan Alley pastiche à la Janet Klein, complete with ukulele ("Loved Song") to catchy, Farfisa-driven indie rock with goofy lyrics ("Henry and the Horse"). Rock and comedy have always been an awkward mixture, and Let's Get out of This Terrible Sandwich Shop are certainly no Bonzo Dog Band, but fans of the sillier side of They Might Be Giants and indie poppers with a functional sense of humor will enjoy this.


Formed: Chicago, IL

Genre: Comedy

Years Active: '00s

Initially the solo project of Second City's Tony Mendoza but eventually expanding to include other Chicago-based improv veterans like Joanna Beuse, Thea Lux, and Tom Vale, the self-dubbed "goof-pop" group Let's Get Out of This Terrible Sandwich Shop (often abbreviated as LGOOTTSS) started formulating with their brand of Apples in Stereo-meets-They Might Be Giants indie pop in the early 2000s. The band garnered quite a bit of local attention, for better or worse, thanks to their distinctive name,...
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Listening, Lets Get Out Of This Terrible Sandwich Shop
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