geshSMOC’s taste of the week (6.22.08)

Running Trains (We're Huge in Japan)
Family Junction
Running Trains (We’re Huge in Japan)
label: FamJam

For satisfied customers of: Phish, They Might Be Giants, and Todd Rundgren.

Q:What do jazz, prog rock, hip-hop, and rejected superheroes have in common?
A: They’re all in the Family!

That’s not funny, but then again, the sheer smorgasbord of creativity behind Running Trains (We’re Huge in Japan) is nothing to laugh at. Boston-bred Family Junction continues to go off the rails in serving up their sophomore course, enriching the eclectic flavor of their debut album Pasta Bar by taking their patented folk, psychedelic, and hip-hop blend of prog rock, sticking it in a blender with a with Easter eggs and off-kilter comedy, and hitting frappe’. Trains may not be as cohesive as Pasta Bar as a standalone album, but that’s simply because Trains abandons the one-track mind of the average LP project in favor of a CD/DVD combo meal savored best as a whole. The complete experience guides fans through the haphazard adventures of rejected superheroes as they struggle to make sense of the world around them. The result is a veritable buffet of entertainment for the open-minded and the kids at heart, for not only does each trippy mishap explore new characters and short stories, but the members of the Family swap instruments on each track, thereby ensuring that every step of the wacky journey truly has its own distinctive taste.

Join the “Superhero Rejects” and track the “Ranger Stranger” with Family Junction here with the Shempseed Player!

NOTE: The Shemspeed Player will always serve the freshest course of the taste, so if you’re catching up with leftovers, skip ahead a few tracks to find your just desserts.

Oh, but don’t stop there! Shift into third gear with the video for “Aijah”:

Bottom Line: While Pasta Bar was a solid prog rock dish, all ages should get off at the Family Junction for a true multimedia rock experience with the off-kilter Running Trains (We’re Huge in Japan).

Choice Cuts for Radio: 2-4, 7-8, 11, 13

“Superhero Rejects” like “Norman” set the tone, but the ha-ha hip-hop of “Aijah” will stick in your head forever, along with the runaway hit “Ranger Stranger.” Long-form rock fans will enjoy painting a “Rainbow Mustache” on “Chuggity Chugs” while “Baby Killers” epitomizes the band’s campy sense of humor.

As Bubby would say, try it, you’ll like it!


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