Eugene Weekly : Music : 6.28.07

“A Five-Headed Hydra of Pleasure”
Trainwreck blasts into Eugene

Trainwreck, Tom Heinl, The Reward System. 9 pm Friday, June 29. John Henry’s • $10 adv., $12 door. 21+ show.

Do you know the band Nine Pound Hammer? Well, Trainwreck is that group’s trashy, speed freak, ex-con cousin. Whereas Nine Pound Hammer thrived on mud, blood and beers, Trainwreck seems to survive on strippers, blow and 25-cent hot dogs. There’s really no excuse for lines like this from “Permanent Wood”: “Let me play with your boobs / I’ll slip and slide up your tubes / I might get lost in your pubes / You make me harder than Rubik’s cube / And that’s a delight / We’ll fuck and we’ll fight / In the moonlight / Your rump’s outta sight.” It’s shamelessly sexist and vulgar, over-the-top jokey, hokey and stupid. They know it, fans know it, and if you go to the show, expect nothing less than lyrics like this and worse delivered with fist-pumping sincerity.

There’s little doubt that fans of Tenacious D already know and love this band. Tenacious D guitarist Kyle Gass started Trainwreck about four years ago, and while his Tenacious D cohort Jack Black may have gone on to bigger (yet arguably not better) fame, Kyle has become the mulleted Klip Calhoun, Trainwreck guitarist and vocalist. Gass and lead singer Daryl Donald, aka Jason Reed, are the core of the band Gass described in a phone interview as “toe-tappin’, corn fried, deep livin’, southern-fried wreck-a-billy.” Musically, the band channels the Southern rawk vein along the lines of Skynyrd and such but adds a preposterously theatrical element — fitting considering Gass and Donald are both former members of Los Angeles-based theatre troupe The Actors’ Gang, where Gass met Black.

According to Gass, the band has been working “for so long” on a CD, which he suggests might be called Trainwreck Democracy. “We’ve got to put it out, we’ve got to do it,” he says. “I think if we work 15 percent harder we’re gonna grow by 50 percent.” He says the good news is that the CD has been in the works for so long that “only the crème de la crème” will make it onto the record.

There’s no doubt what Trainwreck serves up. The only question is, can you take it?