"Punk rock, comedy, and politics" can be a great combination -- look at NOFX. But when a local band declares they're playing with these elements in their self-penned biography, I get a little nervous. VW Trainwreck's new album, 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.
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."
By the way, they'll be celebrating the release of the record this Saturday with a show at Stray Cat.
If you're a musician from the Phoenix metro area and would like to submit a CD for review, please send it in an envelope marked "YAFI" to:
You Asked For It
c/o Phoenix New Times
1201 E. Jefferson Street
Phoenix , AZ 85032