Moxy Fruvous should be famous for much the same reason the Barenaked Ladies are.
Canadian origins aside, both bands offer songs packed with pop-culture references and in-jokes, while boasting strong musicianship that is folksy and rocking at once.
Better known in their Canadian homeland than anywhere else, Moxy Fruvous is celebrated among Canadian Folk Festival junkies for their live rap version of Dr. Seuss's "Green Eggs and Ham" and an unholy -- and hilarious -- hybrid of Lou Reed's "Walk On the Wild Side" and ABBA's "Dancing Queen". If either prospect sounds promising, then Moxy Fruvous and their debut CD, Bargainville, are for you.
The first single from the CD, the ridiculously catchy "Stuck in the 90s", chronicles the trials of a Generation X everyman, but the band relies more on humor than heavy-handedness to make its point:
"Homeless are stupid, welfare is stupid/Private investment efficiency, cool fiscal plannin'/Sounds like more Pat Buchanan".
Another standout is the delightfully goofy "King of Spain", in which the song's narrator bemoans his fall from kinghood to his current job vacuuming turf at the SkyDome. Recorded with a minimum of instrumentation, the band's great harmonies (referred to as "the international orchestra" in the song) carry the tune.
Other tracks include a hilarious a capella version of the cheesy Spider-Man TV theme, and "The Drinking Song", an anti-war ditty that quotes Leadbelly's "Goodnight Irene".
The rest of Bargainville is consistently catchy and thought-provoking. If there's such a thing as a thinking person's party album, this is it.