Always known for extensively pushing the envelope, comedian Stephen Lynch continues in that tradition, bringing his act to the Michigan Theater tomorrow at 7:30 p.m. Lynch is touring in support of his newest release, The Craig Machine, which does a good job at slapping society’s preconceived notions of what is allowable in its politically correct mouth. With the devastating bite of his wit, Lynch manages to isolate listeners into one of two groups: those fanatical for the bluntness of his work and those greatly offended by it.

Music Reviews
Stephen Lynch brings twisted humor to the Michigan Theater tomorrow night.
(Courtesy of What Are Records?)

Some of the songs on the album are blisteringly funny. The track “Craig” makes fun of the relationship between Jesus and his widely unknown brother. Craig does whatever he can to be the black sheep of the Christ family. Snippets like “While Jesus is prayin’/ Fuckin’ Craig is layin’/ Every lady in the testament you know what I’m sayin’ ” provide listeners with an insight into the over-the-top un-Jesus-like behavior of the messiah’s fictional brother.

Other tracks like “Tiny Little Moustache” contemplate the trials of dating a Nazi, especially if your name is Stephen “Lynchbergstein” and she drives a Panzer. The ever-unfortunate soul, Lynch isn’t comforted by his girlfriend’s words when he is down: “Whenever I’m sad you say it’s not so bad / For every problem there’s a Final Solution.” Fortunately Lynch is able escape without harm, and get out of such a volatile situation.

The clever hidden track on the album, which deals with the pathetic nature of Dungeons and Dragons players, brings the album to as satisfying conclusion.

Despite the hilarity of many tracks, some of the songs seem as though they were thrown upon the album as late additions. A song about the “only French bum in New York” called “Pierre” seems to end without resolution. “Not Home,” about the naughty things one does when their significant other leaves town, clocks in at only a minute and 14 seconds, and could easily have been developed further.

Combine some unpolished tracks, with a short album, and The Craig Machine falls a bit short of other fine comedic albums, including Lynch’s own, A Little Bit Special. However, his material is fresh, off-the-cuff and very edgy. With this in mind, listeners get an album that could easily draw them to a live performance where most comedians are far funnier anyway.

Rating: 2.5 out of 5 stars

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