Various Artists

Las Vegas Grind, Pt. 1

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AllMusic Review by

The label responsible for the Las Vegas Grind series is Strip. "Strip" is also the best possible name for the genre these compilations celebrate. In an age where exotic dancing is invariably accompanied by Top 40 hits, it is difficult to imagine house bands for strip clubs. On the other hand, it is equally difficult to imagine this collection of bands playing anywhere else. Las Vegas Grind is the reprobate little sister of lounge music and the unwed mother of all '60s garage bands. It distinguishes itself from these venerable styles in that it has none of lounge music's artsy cocktail pretension, nor does it possess the snotty suburban wrath that is the mark of garage bands. It is like both genres, though, in that there is not a drop of irony anywhere to be found on the whole disc. To say that it lacks irony is not to say that it lacks jocularity. While most numbers -- "The Strip," "The Whip," and "Drums A-Go-Go," to name but three -- are sincerely risqué, several more dubious tracks -- "A La Carte," "Pimples & Braces," and "Hooty Sapperticker," for example -- approach the level of novelty tune. These musical gags seem to provide the same slightly sweaty, slightly nervous acquittal as Benny Hill, French sex comedies and Playboy cartoons. Never mind the naked ladies, it's all just bawdy fun. With naked ladies or without, Las Vegas Grind is bawdy fun, indeed.

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