VW Trainwreck

"Punk rock, comedy, and politics" can be a great combination — look at NOFX. But when a local band declares in its self-penned biography that it's playing with these elements, I get a little nervous. The new album by Tempe punk rockers VW Trainwreck, Dramaturgy, is exactly why.

With a band theme song, a track about sleeping with 16-year-olds, and a song called "Beer, Sports & Porn," Dramaturgy is a standard three-chord punk album with as many cringe-inducing moments as the first five installments of the Saw franchise combined.

Witness: The theme song's refrain: "VW Trainwreck / Our music doesn't blow / VW Trainwreck / No one will ever know."

The second verse of "Jailbait:" "16-year-old cutie, wanna hit that booty / There's no need to worry, I'll just tell the jury: It was only love / Never gonna stop it, 'cause they're finally gonna give it to me now/ People call me crazy, I'm not ugly — just lazy, now I'm running out of time, I might end up on Dateline."

The political song "Suburban Hell:" "Suburbia's a nice place to raise the kids Judeo-Christian white / Hide them from all the coloreds and the drugs and the gangs, don't lock your doors at night."

Oof. Now, I won't get in to a discussion about whether such sentiments were evocative when The Dead Kennedys' Frankenchrist came out, but I think all reasonable people can agree we don't need a three-piece punk band from Tempe doing the same thing 24 years later.

That's a shame, because these guys seem creative, and the few musical flares they employ (a little acoustic accompaniment on "My Way") go well. But, as it stands, they've got a long way to go before they can accomplish their stated mission: "revamp, revitalize and all together reconstruct the punk rock music scene."

Fri., April 10, 7 p.m., 2009


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