Gravy Train!!!! with Mission Veo and Jose El Rey
Thursday, July 10, 2008
White Room, Miami
Better than: Er, gay porn I suppose.
Gravy Train!!!! (yes, the exclamation points are part of the name) are one of those bands that came into prominence thanks to the electropop and electroclash movements that took over the scene in the first half of the decade. Simple synthetic beats with vocals delivered with half the effort. But while acts like Le Tigre and Miss Kittin made a legitimate career out of the movement, others seemed like mere copycats, and you can’t help compare Gravy Train!!!! to other acts like Le Tigre or Avenue D or, by a farther stretch, Fannypack.
And while bands like Avenue D and Fannypack didn't survive the electropop and electroclash fallout, they still were still above the rest by a longshot. Gravy Train!!!! though keeps on chugging with a "I think I can!" mentality that makes you want to tell them "No you can't."
Gravy Train!!!! is by no means awful – just antiquated. Prisoners of electropop who refuse to move forward with the times. Hell, even Ladytron could spot a sinking ship when they saw one. I'm not sure if Gravy Train!!!! got the memo.
Instead, they resort to shtick to survive, basing their entire show on constantly reminding us they are a gay band with sexual urges. Which by no means is a bad trait, but why does a band have to resort to beating on a dead horse? By just listening to the bands repertoire of songs, it’s easy to see there is little advancement musically or lyrically from the band's 2003 debut Hello Doctor to its latest release All The Sweet Stuff. Songs like "Hella Nervous," "Strip 4 Me," "Club Situation" and countless other songs with obvious sexual innuendos all talk about the same stuff, sucking and fucking. Even the queen of electropop sex songs Peaches gives it a rest once and a while or at the very least makes her agenda a little less obvious.
Where I do give the band credit is their high energy while performing that is undeniably infectious. The boys stripped down to their tighty whities, shaking their junk to the beat, while the girls did acrobatic splits and put their pussies into the faces of female attendees.
And the opening acts were well suited and a good reflection on the band. Mission Veo was just as antiquated, reminiscent of She Wants Revenge circa 2006, while Jose El Rey sexed the crowd up with his usual Cuban banter, and in my book, stole the show.
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Personal Bias: I went there being more excited to see Jose El Rey.
Random Detail: One of guys pulled up an audience member and stripped him of his shirt and was trying to do undo his pants, but the guy stopped him. I’m pretty sure if he had let him, he would have no doubt given him head on stage.
By The Way: Even with it being an all ages show, the turn out was rather disappointing.