For Your Inner Beavis

The Uncommon Houseflies
Zombie Clowns Ate Your Sister's Kitty (Maggot Records)

By Tim Roberts

We're warned at the outset (or at least on the back of the CD art) that this album contains "adult themes and juvenile humor." It's kind of like how you used to see a skull and crossbones on the label of anything poisonous, from bug spray to boxes of generic macaroni and cheese. So you know what you're in for.

Kevin Gibson, local columnist, humorist and frequent candidate for the Derby Princess Court (he never seems to make it to the finals, but he always manages to win the swimsuit and hairy-leg competition), has, with his son Scott, created a band and a social phenomenon known as The Uncommon Houseflies and the spawn of this phenomenon is a little homemade project called Zombie Clowns Ate Your Sister's Kitty.

First things first: Is it any good? Well, yes. Many of the songs provide some genuine laughs, especially when Kevin sings about all the words that rhyme with "hate" in "Things I Hate." (And did you know that "hate" doesn't rhyme with "yard sale"? So it's educational, too).

Kevin, Scott and their flyboys Kirk Kiefer and Dirk McStinkley make some low-fi power-pop that borrows a lot from Beatles-in-1965 imitators (with a short trip into ear-blasting heavy metal). So that makes them sound like the Beatles twice-removed. And they don't even have to cover up the death of a member by backward-masking their song lyrics. So that means the line "That's why it hurts to be in love with Kasey Chambers" (from, by some odd coincidence, the song "Kasey Chambers") doesn't sound like "Kevin's been buried in the back yard of his neighbor's house ... really" when played backwards. It actually sounds like "Srebmahc yesak htiw evol niebot struhti yhwstaht."

The appeal may be limited, but then again, so was "Beavis and Butt-Head" at one point - especially among men approaching middle age who still can giggle and choke back a laugh whenever someone in a business meeting says "would he" real fast and runs it together so that it comes out as "woody."

Thing is, if your humor runs toward stuff that made you laugh in junior high school, then Zombie Clowns Ate Your Sister's Kitty is for you. And also for your mom.

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