Maynard James Keenan didn't just name his latest side project after a fictional band from Mr. Show; he was actually on the show, along with his Tool bandmate Adam Jones. Though the unfortunately titled V Is For Vagina is the band's first album, the name and concept have been kicking around for a while: It was used to co-brand a clothing line, and the group appeared briefly in the Mr. Show movie, Run, Ronnie, Run. The long-gestating music is expectedly irreverent, loosely grounded in the gothy industrial-dance sounds of early-'90s Wax Trax, owing much in particular to Revolting Cocks' childish vulgarity and the S&M/biker vibe employed by other bands of the era. (More pointedly: It sounds nothing like Tool.) Still, for all its obvious reference points, Vagina finds Keenan attempting a fresh spin on the style. He doesn't always hit the mark, but the perpetually distorted, faux-sultry vocals ("Queen B") and visceral dance beats should elate those who've been itching to pull their old My Life With The Thrill Kill Kult T-shirts out of storage.
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