(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Friday, February 19, 2010

CD review - Trainwreck, The Wreckoning (2010)

"Going off the rails on a crazy train"? I guess Ozzy was psychic about Trainwreck's upcoming album, The Wreckoning (releasing March 2). Trainwreck is Kyle Gass (KG from Tenacious D) along with several of the guys who backed the D. But they're not just Tenacious D minus Jack Black; they've got their own flavor going on, with some Southern fried rock and judicious use of flute. Still, they have the same twisted humor and hard rock licks and many of the vocals seem designed for JB's voice. And the love comes through, even while they're mocking a host of musical and cultural cliches. The band has fleshed out stage personas for each member, but I'm still not sure what's up with KG's toupee.

Often, when a band is built around a satirical concept, the jokes wear thin after a listen or two. But, like Spinal Tap or the D, Trainwreck has crafted tight, riff-heavy songs worthy of repetition. I was hooked from the moment I caught the video for Brodeo. This manthem is Trainwreck's Boys Just Want to Have Fun with a (barely) latent gay sub-text:
And when the BROdeo begins
We'll be hangin' with our friends
All of whom are men
And when the BROverload occurs,
We can all take off our shirts
And wrestle in the dirt.
It's goofy fun, but it rocks and the chorus hook is guaranteed to have a crowd singing along at the show.

Another funny one is Tim Blankenship:
I'm gonna roll up in my Z-28
Gonna start a fire with the love we create
I'm Tim Blankenship...
This rocker is reminiscent of the Rolling Stones' When the Whip Comes Down and could spawn a whole episode on Trailer Park Boys.

While both of those are over the top, songs like Rock Boulder Mountain (listen on their MySpace page) are more subtle. This one kicks off with a flute noodling to a mellow, Moody Blues vibe but then dives into Black Sabbath metal groove. The flute comes back over the metal, rocking it Jethro Tull style. It's easy to imagine Jack Black prancing to this, but Daryl Lee Donald (Jason Reed) does just fine.

Whiskey with a beer chaser should start you down the rails. Pick up The Wreckoning when it comes out and catch Trainwreck if they hit your part of the world.

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