Spin Spin
May 1994

Moxy Fruvous

by Chuck Eddy, SPIN


How do you get 200 Canadians out of a swimming pool? Ask them nicely to please get out of the pool. Compared to us psychotic, Tonya-Harding-achy-breaky-kneecap Americans, Canadians are very polite and fair-minded people. So naturally Canada has a very fair-minded "Canadian Content Rule," where radio stations and the big video outlet MuchMusic have to play a certain percentage of songs created by real-life Canucks. In 1991, there was even a controversy about Bryan Adams not being truly Canadian since he employs too many Laplanders or something.

Moxy Fruvous is a band of some Toronto dweebs who've made it big above the border with an unplugged buskerism specializing in tunelessly topical comedy-protests against really original targets such as Pat Buchanan and the Gulf War. They try to mix folk, calypso, rap, and so forth like the Kingston Trio used to mix calypsos, flamencos, mariachis, Zulu chants, ukulele hulas, Irish-pub sloshes, and banjo square dances about murder. But the Kingston Trio was a million times funnier, especially on ...From the "Hungry I" LP where it sang about speaking northwestern creole French from Utah. So Moxy Fruvous is maybe a Dead Milkmen/Kennedys version of the Kingston Trio, which makes them even more awful than that Beck guy on MTV with his Dead Milkmen/Allmans version of Woody Guthrie.

Junkhouse comes from Ontario, too, but I like this band more than Fruvous or the Blue Jays. Canada's best rock critic, Phillip Dellio, calls them "JohnKrukhouse," after the hairy, overweight Phillie whom all the slobs in the band resemble. They're lumberjacks in the Great White North tradition of B.T.O. "Out of My Head" is a catchy single about being insane in the membrane, and "This Kitchen Feels Like Home" cooks like AC/DC doing "No Time" by the Guess Who. But Junkhouse raps real prissily, and its trashy blues riffs swoop when they should push. Junkhouse also does too much poetic nonsense about Jesus and reptiles, and not enough meat'n'potatoes about rolling down the highway to Saskatchewan.

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