By: Jessica Grose
If you love Le Tigre but hate all the pesky political activism and feminist hectoring, then Oakland, California’s Gravy Train!!!! is the band for you. With a twisted riot grrrl ethos, Gravy Train!!!! fights for their rights, but the battle’s against sobriety and cabaret laws instead of sexism and homophobia. With songs like “Ghost Boobs,” “Hump Lites,” and “Nudies from the Road,” I’m not quite sure what Gravy Train!!!!’s agenda is, but I’m pretty sure it includes sex toys and scatological humor.
The four members of Gravy Train!!!! are known only as Hunx, Chunx, Junx, and Funx (a former member is listed as Drunx). The band consists of two men and two women, all of whom, if their online diaries are accurate, love to talk about their bowel movements. The sound that Gravy Train!!!! emits on their debut full-length, Are You Wigglin? has the raw energy of the Ramones but a suicide girl flair that sends the camp level over the top. It’s impossible not to crack a smile when listening to lyrics that rhyme “beaver” and “believer” (as Gravy Train!!!! does on “(Ev’rybody Do) the Thingy”).
Highlights of this danceable yelp-fest are “Darque Tan,” which opens with the kind of electronic sex beat Peaches made famous on The Teaches of Peaches, and “Jonny Makeup,” which draws on Toni Basil’s cheerleading anthem, “Hey Mickey,” in a cheesy, totally entertaining way. Not for the faint of heart: Gravy Train!!!! is taking their raunchy live show on the road this summer throughout the U.S. and Canada.
Ed. note: The exclamation point key here at Spin HQ is now worn down to a nub. Thanks, Gravy Train!!!!
Gravy Train!!!! tour dates:
7/19, Denver, CO (The Hi Dive)7/21, Minneapolis, MN (Triple Rock Social Club)7/22, Chicago, IL (Open End Gallery)7/23,Cleveland, OH (Grog Shop)7/24, Pittsburgh, PA (Garfield Art Works)7/25, New York City, NY (Knitting Factory)7/26, Boston, MA (Great Scout)7/27, Providence, RI (AS 220)7/28, Montreal, QC (La Sala Rosa)7/29, Toronto, ON (Club Vazaleen)7/30, Philly, PA (North Star)7/31, Cologne, NJ (Galloway American Legion Pos)8/2, Atlanta, GA (Drunken Unicorn Room)8/3, New Orleans, LA (One Eyed Jack’s)8/5, Houston, TX (Mary Jane’s)8/6, Austin, TX (Emos)8/7, Denton, TX (Rubber Gloves)8/9, Tucson, AZ (Club Congress)8/10, San Diego, CA (Che Cafï¿½)8/11, Los Angeles, CA (Echo)8/12, Long Beach, CA (Koo’s)8/13, Oakland, CA (Lobot Gallery)