Record Review: “Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster” by Space Chubby

Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster by Space Chubby
(ARISTA Records, Copyright: 2010)

Track Listing:
1. “Cuter With Her Tits Out” (3:17)
2. “Egging the Single Dooders on to Their Demise” (4:22)
3. “Get This Motherfuckin’ Snake Out of My Motherfuckin’ Ass” (2:53)
4. “Watch Out for the Cranked-Up Little Anklebiters” (0:42)
5. “Mrs. Cheese Heiney is Endearing” (4:19)
6. “Escape from the Island of Bloated Fat Liv” (13:27)
7. “I’m Comin’ to Sting the Fuck Out of You” (2:45)
8. “After You Left Last Night, Well, You Know, Staph Came Over (3:02)
9. “Yarrr! Yarrr! Yarrrrrr! YAAAAAAARRRRRRR!!!!!” (6:16)

Credits:
Gassy Veal Kitten Randy: Vocal Stylings, Rhythm Guitar, Songwriting
High Function Downs Boy: Bass Guitard, Special Happy Good Fun Boy Hugs
Roosevelt Franklin: Drums, Knives, Threats
Nice Guy Chad: Lead Guitar, Good Vibes
Pretentious Arthaus Klown: Beeps, Bloops, Laptops, Flashing Lights, Withering Scorn
Rilla the Real Gorilla: Oop, Ooop, Ooop, OOOOOOOPP!!!
Drunknard: Lyrics, Visions, Tin Foil Hats, Vomit

Engineered by The Analog Kid.
Produced by Clive Davis and Frank Farian.

Space Chubby’s harrowing new long-player, Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster (their third album) begins thusly: thirty-six hammered monotonic bass- and-drum beats connected by an insistent mosquito-whine guitar line followed by a malevolently emotionless voice intoning “Gretchen Mol is always cute, but she’s cuter with her tits out!” Brrrrr! Up go your hackles in response to the overwhelming menace emanating from the stereo, and you suddenly find yourself frozen to the floor, quivering like a deer in the headlights of an oncoming eighteen-wheeler, recognizing that horror, pain and nothingness are upon you now. White noise, black out, red mist, and then the next song begins.

2008’s full-length disk, I Am Ze Onion, Loved By All!, marked a musical adolescence of sorts for the band, as the Chubbies managed to link the childish sounds oozing from their horrible analog noise-makers to a more adult-oriented thunder emitted by a crackling new rhythm section (Roosevelt Franklin and High Function Downs Boy). Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster now finds Space Chubby grown to full artistic adulthood. Mind you, they haven’t become the kinds of adults with whom you’d want to leave your kids, but they are extraordinarily adept at doing what they do, and they’ve certainly got those grown-up concerns down pat, as evidenced by songs like their Steve Irwin tribute, “I’m Comin’ to Sting the Fuck Out of You”, “Mrs. Cheese Heiney is Endearing”, “Egging the Single Dooders on to Their Demise” and (gulp!) “After You Left Last Night, Well, You Know, Staph Came Over.”

Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster is, in general, an awfully ugly record filled with awfully mean songs written by an awfully menacing band, though there are a couple of crucial lighter moments that give the disc balance and make it easier to get through it in a single spin. “Watch Out for the Cranked-Up Little Anklebiters” provides the perfect antidote for when you’ve got a big hankering for Scandinavian musical sweets, but neither the ABBA reissues nor the Ace of Base regurgitations are snapping your suspenders the way they used to. It’s got a great hook, great rhythm, hilarious English as a not-quite-second language lyrics and monumentally off-kilter subject matter. It could almost be bottled as Essential Oil of Swedepop, boiled down into a concise, 42-second blur.

At the other end of the spectrum, “Escape from the Island of Bloated Fat Liv” is a long suite that allows you to appreciate the many varieties of slowness that quasi-ambient music can offer; 40 beats per minute sounds surprisingly lively when you’ve crawled along at 25 for a while. This lovely ‘ludecore workout left me wondering why none of our other supposedly clever ambient artists ever realized that the best way to evocatively, but unobtrusively, fill aural space is with actual songs. Rilla the Real Gorilla’s Oop Oop OOOPs are really given a chance to shine here. Bravura performance, big primate!

In summary, while Nice Cans, Chunky Dumpster may be a hard record to love, with a little patience and lot of awfulness in your heart, you’ll find it’s an even harder record to ignore. Space Chubby will be supporting the new album with a North Country tour of VFW Halls, strip clubs and parking lots, co-billed with Stake Knife and Wheel Dio. Highly recommended!

Another Viewpoint: Space Chubby Goes Prog

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