Space lessons 

VTO makes fun, gross music for all of us

One fantastic thing about Missoula's VTO and its new album, What to Expect When You're Expecting VTO, is that the band offers messages with which we can all agree. In "Pizza City" Charlie Beaton sings, "[I] wanna live in Pizza City," which makes sense. Who wouldn't? That track is followed by "Don't Poop in Your Spacesuit," and that seems like really good advice. Others are not quite so straightforward but they're likable all the same. The minor chord keyboards of "Aliens and Astronauts" help build a spooky mood in which the band wonders about space, as most curious humans tend to do. And "Redneck Rendezvous" is an upbeat punk song about drinking beer, barbecuing and fistfights that might as well be the soundtrack for every summer on the Blackfoot River.

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The pop-punk, country-tinged, happy-go-lucky album takes a deliciously childlike and childish approach. For instance, the power rock number "Hot Yoga" is simply a tribute to yoga and all that comes with it, including camel toes. Beaton sings, "Now it's time to head into town, for some dirty dogdown. Oh-ohhh-oh! Hot yoga! Hot yoga! Now it's time to strike a pose, through your see-through pantyhose." The lyrics on all these songs are bratty, weird, goofy and sometimes gross, in the tradition of Dead Milkmen and The Mr. T Experience. It's a carefree record with the vibe of not giving a rat's ass what anyone thinks. The cover of "Holiday Road" just adds one more layer of fun. And who doesn't love fun?

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