Review: Jesse Gavin “Cereal Boxes”

Jesse Gavin “Cereal Boxes”

16 Feb, 2011 Rhonda Readence

Jesse Gavin, an actor and musician based in Los Angeles, California, has come forth with an EP of comedic rock that addresses valid concerns in the world around us.  Cereal Boxes is Gavin’s brainchild, a 6-song EP rife with intelligent hilarity.  Gavin, a fan of comedic playwright George Bernard Shaw, understands the power that can be wielded through comedy to explore topics that may otherwise be offensive.  His songs, which are sung mostly by characters, delve into sex, love and politics, are all topics that can be controversial and spark debate when brought to the table.  Gavin’s understanding of comedic license and his exceptional writing skills allow these subjects to be broached lightly, with humor and candor.

“Body Image/Sweet Ass” is a rock ‘n’ roll song that may bring to mind Sam Kinison.  Gavin’s vocals are smoother than Kinison’s, however, and this track will doubtless crack people up.  With descriptive imagery directed towards those freaky looking gentlemen who are basically unattractive in all aspects except for the all important ass, and yet who think they are God’s gift to humanity, Gavin digs in without mercy.  His lyrics are full of humor, but without the cruelty that some humor is based on.  Listeners will know exactly who this piece targets and will perhaps imagine that guy in the gym who fits this description exactly.

“Man Crush” is slow in rhythm and Gavin’s vocals are strong.  This piece contains tongue-in-cheek humor and men of all persuasions will agree that it takes some courage to admit to having a man crush.  Written with an honest candor that is endearing, this track epitomizes the classic crush, except that it’s a same sex crush from a man’s point of view.  Men and women alike will giggle at this one and Gavin will earn their respect.  “Cookie Song” has a simple western rhythm and it’s a fairly straight love song.  With a child-like innocence, Gavin’s lyrics are sweetly honest and revolve around sharing a cookie with Karen.  Listeners will wait for the humor that they have come to expect from this artist, but may find themselves disappointed.  “Cookie Song” is basically a low-key sing-along written for simple enjoyment, which is why listeners will find it so appealing.

Cereal Boxes continues with “My Best Friend,” a song about a man’s best friend stealing his girl.  With profane lyrics and an angry edge, Gavin doesn’t hold back.  Any man who has had a girl stolen from him (by his best friend no less) will appreciate this track with gusto.  It bears a rhythm that may bring to mind Dave Matthews and the vocals are sung with a twang that is reminiscent of southern rock.  Fans will want to see this performed live and will likely sing along with cheerful abandon.  “Angry Republican” is perhaps the most inflammatory song on the EP and will be sure to offend people of every political party.  Gavin takes no prisoners here and runs his knife through several political parties, with a side trip into commentary on racism as well.  Beneath his humor, he makes many valid points and this is perhaps the most thoughtful and provocative piece on the EP.  No matter what political beliefs one has, the intelligent points made in this track cannot be ignored.  “Credit Card Hippie” is the closing track, and Gavin’s signature songwriting is once more made evident with his descriptive lyrics.  A piece dealing with a rich hippie who is materialistic and self-centered, the irony of this track is hard to miss.

Jesse Gavin, actor, musician and writer, has made Cereal Boxes a classic comedic look into the darker side of human interests.  The talent of this artist is evident throughout the EP with his intelligent and humorous writing at the core.  From insecurities about appearances to man crushes to love to jealousy to politics, Gavin covers it all and addresses issues in a light-hearted way while still making his point.  Comedic songwriting is a difficult genre that many attempt but usually come up lacking.  Jesse Gavin, however, has mastered the art of being subtle and yet obvious in the same breath, and Cereal Boxes is his brilliant contribution to comedy and music alike.

Review by Rhonda Readence
Rating:  4 stars (out of 5)