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Cribshitter infects the redneck riviera in “COVID Cove”

The new single and video is the Madison band’s first release in five years.

Cribshitter’s most recent album, 2015’s Acapulco, transported listeners to a tacky timeshare paradise and showcased the long-running Madison band‘s gift for melding well-crafted pop songs with sick and deranged humor. This week, Cribshitter gives the album something of a hellish companion piece in “COVID Cove.” The single and its accompanying video pay tribute to all those carefree cretins out there attending massive boat parties during a pandemic.

Everything with Cribshitter is a bit more elaborate and accomplished than it has any right to be, and this diseased bro-country fantasia is no exception. The track begins with Madison-based comedian and voice actor Jason Stephens doing his best David Attenborough-style voice-over, describing “a harmonious confluence of the natural and mystical realms” where people “stew in the cleansing nectar,” aka our toxic-algae-infested lakes. Much of the boat-party footage was sourced from the internet, so the band didn’t have to do any super-spreading to make the video.

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The lyrics of this idyll take the selfishness of American COVID truthers to hallucinatory extremes. This half-sung, half-rapped exchange from vocalist-tuba player Christine Christenson and guitarist-vocalist Karl Christenson is a high point:

Life jacket dipes, Clorox wipes
Bilge pump chump her, watch the numbers spike
Remote work is hard, so I’m hardly workin’
A real man needs a woman with a freshwater merkin

All the elements are ridiculous and unappealing, but that’s what Cribshitter thrives on. The outlandish scenes and shamelessly goofy hooks draw you in, almost to the point that you wish you were getting greased up and creased up for a public-health disaster.

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