I'm just going to cut to the chase: The Two Man Gentlemen Band's sophomore album, Heavy Petting is romping, outstanding fun. It plays like a party, and even the sappy love songs are sonic celebrations with lyrics like, "My love for you is like the square root of two / That's a nerdy way of flirting, but it's true."
Always a Tight Kazoo Solo
"When your lips are playing my kazoo, I fall in love with you," is what they sing on the fourth song in (titled, appropriately, "When Your Lips Are Playing My Kazoo"). Really, it's the kazoo that makes so much of this group so great. It does, ocassionaly, verge on gimmicky, but never quite crosses that line.
Fiddle solos like the one in "Unicycle Blues," compete with the kazoo for most memorable instrumental moments. There are also the do-da-dos of stellar songs like "Dippin' Sauce," that take the place of instrumental solos.
Highlights Harken Back to a Simpler Time
All the songs on Heavy Petting
call to mind a simpler time, when people did things like ride unicycles and play badminton. The songs put an emphasis on the behavior of the old-fashioned gentlemen, and "A Gentleman Knows How to Love" (Download MP3
) comes across as a bit of a mantra for this talented duo.
"They Can't Prohibit Love" is a throwback to prohibition, and the album's jumpstart tune "William Howard Taft" (about the president's sheer size), specifically, calls to mind the work of They Might Be Giants. While much of the album rolls along at that perfect toe-tapping tempo, it all ends with "Newtown Creek": a sad little piano-driven dirge. Though it ends on this lower note, the album is a stomping good time. Don't miss out.