Alan Smithee

Shallow Gravy “Jacket” Single Collection – Review

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What can you say about a CD Single that contains five different versions of Shallow Gravy’s one-and-only song besides “fucking awesome”? Turns out, a whole lot.

When I saw the group perform the song “Jacket” on season 4’s finale Operation P.R.O.M. I never had any thoughts on the group consisting of Dermott Fictel, Hank Venture, and H.E.L.P.eR. would ever become a ‘thing’, which I’m glad it did.

Recently, Cartoon Network aired the 15-minute Spinal Tap-esque mockumentary titled From the Ladle to the Grave that explored the group’s origins and also gave us fans a taste of what we can expect in the show’s fifth season.

After the episode aired, I ran to iTunes to check if the single was available for download (which I was certain would be one of the best $0.99 ever spent through my iPhone), not only did they have the regular track that we all heard on the show, but they also had a whole CD single full of remixes that any Venture Bros. fan would be remiss to not buy.

There are five songs on the album:

  • Jacket (Single Edit) – exactly what it sounds like, this is the version that we’ve seen the music video to and the one that everyone will immediately recognize.
  • Jacket (Unplugged) – I can’t listen to this one without laughing my ass off because of the somber singing of Hank and Dermott and that the drums are replaced with what sounds like bongos. Even Hank’s bass riff is replaced with acoustic guitar/kettle drum/maraca accompaniment.
  • Jacket (Live At Timmy’s Birthday) – The live version of the song and my favorite of the album is great because of many reasons. First, you have Dermotts voice devolving into Sgt. Hatred tones. Second, there’s cussing with Dermott saying “make some noise motherfuckers!” Finally, the hurried tone of the song really has you believing that they really performed this one live with a 4 track recorder.
  • Jacket (Orchestral) – If you’re metal, then your music deserves orchestral dissection and accompaniment. Complete with a mock conductor tapping at the beginning of the song and orchestra hall chatter, this is my second favorite track on the album.
  • Jacket (Conjechno Remix) – Named aptly after the company that manages the band. This is the ‘dance remix’ that are usually ubiquitous on CD Singles and while not a really good techno song in it’s own right, is a great joke piece to end the album.
  • OVERALL: 85%

    Picking this collection of the same song all comes down to how big of a fan of The Venture Bros. you consider yourself. If you see yourself as the kind of guy who would actually get a “HENCH4LYFE” tattoo or get the inside jokes that Jason Publick and Doc Hammer throw around concerning aging ‘heroin chic’ rock stars then this is a purchase you must make.

    All others should really just pick up the single edit or the live track and call it a day.

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