Family music act Formidable Vegetable is scheduled to release its new EP Garbage Guts Friday through 8 Pound Gorilla Records. The six-song EP is quite the interesting addition to this year’s field of new family music records. Running approximately 16 minutes, the EP stands out in part because of its featured musical arrangements. They will be discussed shortly. The record’s lyrical themes also play into its interest. It will be discussed a little later. The record’s sequencing puts the finishing touch to its presentation. Each item noted here plays its own important part to the album’s overall presentation. When they come together, they make the EP in whole an enjoyable offering for any young listener.
Formidable Vegetable’s forthcoming EP, Garbage Guts is an interesting addition to this year’s field of new EPs. It will appeal just as much to younger listeners as to grown-ups. That is proven in part through its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements in question are varied throughout the record’s nearly 20-minute run. The EP opens and closes on a Dixieland note in ‘We’re All Friends’ and ‘Our Street’ respectively. Along the way, listeners are treated to a bit of hip-hop and EDM together in the EP’s lead single, ‘Get a Goat.’ The act’s familiar Dixieland gets an electronic update in ‘No Such Thing as Waste’. The use of the keyboard, strings and electronics gives the song an infectious new style that even adults will enjoy. It is a great sound that easily lends itself to thoughts of works from the likes of Cherry Poppin’ Daddies and Squirrel Nut Zippers. ‘Fonky Food’ meanwhile changes things up again by taking listeners back to the 1970s with its funk-based arrangement. To a point, this arrangement lends itself to a comparison to works from Formidable Vegetable’s fellow family music act Secret Agent 23 Skidoo. Between this arrangement and all of the others noted here, the whole of Garbage Guts’ musical presentation ensures listeners’ engagement and entertainment in its own way. It is just one part of what makes the EP notable. The record’s lyrical content adds to its interest, too.
The lyrical content featured in Garbage Guts is just as diverse as the EP’s musical arrangements. ‘We’re All Friends’ promotes and celebrates unity and friendship. The song even notes that in order to keep friends, people should be treated equally and fairly. It even stresses that family can be friends and “unexpected places.” Something truly interesting here is the subtle way in which the song reminds young listeners that real friends are better than “friends” they might have online. This simple line can lead to a much bigger discussion on internet safety. Of course that is a latent function of the song’s lyrical content, but it is there.
“Get a Goat’ changes things up lyrically by presenting a message that promotes environmental awareness. It does this so simply by just telling young listeners to…well…get a goat. For those who might not know, goats are natural lawn mowers. They eat grass and lots of it, so to that end, many people actually incorporate the use of goats for their lawn care. That is because the only gas involved with them is the gas they give off. Yes, that was a terrible joke. The waste that they give off can even be potentially used for fertilizer, so they are, again, ecologically safe. Now while the song’s lyrical content does not come right out and make this clear, the understanding of goats’ usefulness is mostly commonplace, so that makes this song’s lyrical theme still notable in its own right despite its overly simplistic nature.
‘Shoogieman’ continues to exhibit the diversity in the EP’s lyrical content by addressing the importance of good dental hygiene. As with so many other songs, it does this by personifying the bacteria and germs that can and do damage a person’s teeth. Even more interesting is that older audiences might catch the use of KC and the Sunshine Band’s timeless song ‘I’m Your Boogie Man’ for the basis for this work. There is obviously a clear stylistic difference between the songs in the musical arrangements, but those lines when the “shoogieman” sings, “I’m your shoogie man,” the re-imagining is just as evident. When all of this is considered along with the other noted lyrical themes and those not directly addressed here, the whole of the EP’s lyrical content proves overall, it is just as important to the record’s presentation as its musical content. The overall content pairs with the EP’s sequencing to put the final touch to the record.
Listeners will note through the EP’s sequencing that it keeps things changed up from one song to the next. This applies, as noted, to the musical and lyrical content. The upbeat vibe that the songs create is the one thing that stays constant since the arrangements’ energies remain so upbeat. The most that the record lets up comes in its finale, ‘Our Street.’ Even in that case, the record doesn’t let up too much.
The lyrical content that is featured throughout the record play into the EP’s sequencing because while they do generally follow one overarching theme – that of promoting environmental awareness – the manner in which it does this does change from one song to the next. As noted ‘Get a Goat’ promotes the use of goats for lawn care instead of lawn mowers and other machines that require the use of oil and gas. ‘No Such Thing as Waste’ promotes environmental awareness by promoting recycling. ‘Fonky Food’ goes in yet another unique direction by promoting the use of fermentation to make food, such as sourdough bread and sauerkraut. It serves as a reminder that while yes, some food is not safe to eat when it ferments, there is some fermented food that is good. To this end, the song is a starting point for discussions on avoiding food waste, which is an ecological problem in its own right. Staying on the topic of food, the EP also takes on the topic of locally sourced foods in the EP’s closer. Relying on locally-sourced resources reduced gasoline and oil usage, leading to reduction in carbon footprints (and potentially costs to consumers), so here again is an ecologically-minded song even here. Looking back through all of this, it becomes clear, again, that while the songs featured here do largely follow one central theme, they change from one to the next in how that lyrical theme is approached. What’s more, the addition of the two non-ecologically-based songs breaks things up even more, making for even more interest. Keeping everything in mind, it keeps clear why the record’s sequencing is so important to the EP’s presentation. Together with the EP’s songs and lyrical content, the sequencing finalizes the EP’s presentation and proves one last time why this record will appeal to any family.
Formidable Vegetable’s new forthcoming EP, Garbage Guts is an interesting addition to this year’s field of new family music offerings. Part of its appeal comes from its featured musical arrangements. The arrangements show a variety of styles from one to the next. The record’s lyrical content is diverse in its own right. It largely follows the central theme of environmental awareness while presenting that message in various fashions. The sequencing of all of that content completes the picture painted by the noted content. It ensures that the different topics keep changing just enough from one to the next, putting the final touch to the presentation. When it is considered along with the rest of the EP’s content, that whole makes the record in whole a work that is among the more unique of this year’s new family music records. Garbage Guts is scheduled for release Friday.
More information on Formidable Vegetable’s new EP is available along with all of the group’s latest news at:
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