Dirty Linen - Issue #90, October/November 2000


The Auto Body Experience - A Tribute to Carhenge - Dental CD 1015 (1999)

Used Carlotta - Reckless Wheels - Planetary 9021 (2000)


Guess figuring out what this world is coming to is a no-brainer when two bands’ names pay homage to motor vehicles. That’s really all these two recordings have in common. That, and some fine listening.


The Auto Body Experience delivers goofball in he Brave Combo-They Might Be Giants vein. The Experience tackles such weighty matters as “(Who Took Your Pipe) Mr. Potato Head” and “Class Reunion” with a rocky edge and unflinching sincerity. Other standout tracks include “X-Ray Specs” and “(I’m Turning Into) Mister Wilson.” OK, so “All Your Friends” tiptoes into the sordid, and “Crap” is over the line. And like the aforementioned groups, these guys have the chops to pull it off with flourish, replete with horn section – toy piano and dueling bassoons, even! See if you don’t detect a touch of The Beatles and Queen. Good clean fun. Pass the Allen wrench.


From the opening riff, you know used Carlotta is gonna be…

-- Linda Dailey Paulson (Ventura, CA)


The Pioneer Press, Sunday, December 19, 1999:

"A Tribute to Carhenge," the Auto Body Experience, Dental Records [3 stars out of 4]

Auto Body CD puts all seriousness aside
hile the cover photo does, indeed, depict Carhenge, the bizarre Nebraska take-off on Stonehenge constructed with wrecked cars, this CD is actually a tribute to all that is frivolous and not worth taking seriously in American culture.

You can't make the Auto Body Experience string two sober thoughts together; that's not what they got into the business to do. Instead, guitarist/songwriter Scott Yoho and his mates devote their creativity to examining the mystery of Mr. Potato Head's missing pipe; the possibility that your father paid your friends to play with you; the chronic tardiness of their bass player Tom Larson; the social embarrassment of trying to impress a woman with a baggie of dog feces in your hand; and the process by which formerly young people gradually turn into cranky neighbors like Mr. Wilson (from the Dennis the Menace comic panel).

They also deconstruct high school reunions, worthless gizmos purchased from comic book ads and odd experiments by famous scientists. These ideas are presented in a variety of styles, from reggae to calypso to straight-ahead Beatles-style pop rock. Because their palette is so broad and their subject matter so endless, the Auto Body Experience could make CDs like this forever -- which might not be a bad idea. Like all comedy records, the jokes here would probably get stale after a while, at which point your appetite would be whetted for another round of the band's catchy, witty work.

-- Rick Shefchik


The Minnesota Daily, Thursday November 18, 1999:

The Auto Body Experience. Minnesota History Center. 8 p.m. $10; $8 advance. 651-699-6393. A band that sings about Mr. Potato Head just has to be good - or at least full of zany lunatics. The Auto Body Experience is both. The band sings quirky lyrics and cleverly twisted tunes. At the same time, The Auto Body Experience performs with surprising agility, featuring a tight horn section, smooth guitar solos, exotic instruments and the occasional twinkling of a toy piano. Now you can witness their wackiness as they celebrate the release of their third CD, A Tribute To Carhenge (Dental).

-- David Gustafson


The Star Tribune, Sunday, November 14, 1999:

THE AUTO BODY EXPERIENCE, "A Tribute to Carhenge"(Dental Records)

Nobody in Minnesota is making grander or sillier pop than Scott Yoho, the persistent and self-effacing guitar hero who would rather craft Velcro-quality hooks and tickle listeners' funny bones than flail away at his fretboard with tawdry arena theatrics. There are precious few songwriters who will tackle such important topics as growing old and grumpy ("I'm Turning into Mr. Wilson"), comic book rip-offs ("X-Ray Specs"), being a "responsible pet walker" ("Crap"), the travails of Charles Darwin ("The Worms Don't Hear") or chronic tardiness ("Tom Is Late"). OK, Yoho's got a better shot of scoring time on the Cartoon Network than on MTV, but that's not a reflection of his wondrous and wide-ranging music skills. "A Tribute to Carhenge" sports peppy ska, righteous reggae, bracing jazz, surprising salsa and loads of sensational rock and pop moments. This CD will remind you of everybody from Frank Zappa ("Head") to the Beatles ("All Your Friends") to Yoho's sorely missed compadres, Something Fierce ("Who Took Your Pipe, Mr. Potato Head?"). And that's not too shabby. The Auto Body Experience performs Friday night at 3M Auditorium in the Minnesota History Center, St. Paul.

-- Tom Surowicz


Juice Magazine, Issue #49:

THE AUTO BODY EXPERIENCE, "A Tribute to Carhenge"(Dental Records) Smoking pot can be really fun, but it can also result in this record.

-- Robin

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