Antsy McClain and the Trailer Park Troubadours | Trailercana (DRP Records)

antsyThere aren't any real laugh-out-loud moments on Trailercana, but there's enough witty and clever wordplay to please anyone looking for a fun little poke at the trailer park lifestyle that us Midwesterners know so well.

 

 

The band's press kit refers to frontman Antsy McClain as a "humorist," not a "comedian." That's an important distinction to make; there aren't any real laugh-out-loud moments on Trailercana, but there's enough witty and clever wordplay to please anyone looking for a fun little poke at the trailer park lifestyle that us Midwesterners know so well. The album starts off right with the country boogie of the trailer park anthem "Living in Aluminum" ("There ain't no better way to test your mettle / Than in a semi-precious metal neighborhood"), and the party-hardy atmosphere continues through the wronged-woman's-revenge rocker "Joan of Arkansas" and the uncannily accurate Jimmy Buffett riff "I Wanna Live in a Billboard" ("I'll be selling the dream to the American dreamer / Of liver damage and emphysema"). The undisputed highlight, however, is the low-key, almost John Denver folk-tune "I Was Just Flipped Off by a Silver Haired Old Lady With a ‘Honk If You Love Jesus' Sticker On the Bumper of Her Car," which features some of McClain's most delightfully twisted lyrics sung with conviction in Kansas-like soaring harmonies.

 

The Trailer Park TroubadoursThe Trailer Park Troubadours have the sound of a band who've paid their dues with weekly bar gigs, straightforward and musically solid if not particularly inventive, and when goosed by a handful of guest musicians (Fleetwood Mac's Lindsey Buckingham, comedian Tommy Smothers, and blues star Bonnie Bramlett) the results are even better. Unfortunately, the band sometimes overreaches, be it the funktry fourth track (a tribute to a girl who "puts the funk in dysFUNKtional") or the unnecessarily dour "Dora's Dark Side" (packed with PMS jokes that weren't funny ten years ago and are even less so in this context).

 

It's more or less impossible to ride one joke for the length of an entire album, and as hard as McClain and co. try to change things up you can still pinpoint the exact point where said joke overstays its welcome (that'd be when 12th track "Full Moon Nights in Pine View Heights" kicks in and sounds just like at least half of the tracks that preceded it). Still, for a comedy album, there's still plenty of good chuckles to have for anyone who knows redneck culture enough to laugh at a title like "KOA Refugee" before even hearing a note of the song. C | Jason Green

 

RIYL: The Bob & Tom Show, Blue Collar Comedy Tour

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