Friday, November 4, 2011
The Leaving Trains - The Lump In My Forehead (1992)
By the mid '80s the anarchic Leaving Trains had already been banned from playing every club in Los Angeles and, in regards to their own toxic levels of inebriation and insanity, they would have been well advised to go in any direction other than deeper. But they weren't finished with plumbing the depths by a long shot, and The Lump In My Forehead, released in '92, proved that the Trains were the genuine article when it came to unhinged punk obnoxiousness. The fact the album opens with the vitriolic, contemptuous name-checking of "Bob Hope" should give fair warning that no cows are sacred in the Leaving Trains universe, and songs like "She's Got Bugs", "Gas, Grass, Or Ass", and "Women Are Evil" further illustrate the band's uncanny ability to locate the boundary lines of accepted behavior and urinate all over them. The antisocial fun reaches its apex in "I'm O.K.", a six-minute story-song that details a suburban dad's murderous wig-out and subsequent societal redemption thanks to the miracle of modern meds. It's both disturbing and hilarious, oozing equal amounts of bloodshot depravity and clear-eyed satire, and if there's any genius in the Leaving Trains it's that they balance both those extremes so often and so effortlessly. If the music itself was just a little more inspired these guys would've been truly dangerous.