For some time now, Californian Psych junkie Zach Oakley has wanted to team up with his percussionist brother Matt, and this wish has finally materialised with new project Volcano. Debut album The Island (Tee Pee Records) is a million miles away from the weird Blues of Harsh Toke, Joy, and Loom, from where the quintet has been culled: introducing African rhythms to whacked-out jams and creating an unusual yet vibrant concoction. Continue reading
The bizarre name doesn’t even begin to do justice to this nutty, inventive Swiss trio. The savage undercurrent of debut album The Great Ape Project (Dr. Music) from In Love Your Mother is constantly tripped up by a multitude of time changes and noodling lead nuances, with myriad genres cropping up in-between. The jazz inflections of ‘We’re Gonna Dance Till Everyone Is Naked And Fallen Apart’ (see?!) and ‘Wish Me An Ocean Part 1’ are infested by weird, complex structures, and a bounding groove similar to Cancer Bats with the former seeing soft and deliciously harmonic vocals decorating its later moments.
The album is an eighteen-track embodiment of schizophrenic madness, clocking in at just over half an hour. The fourteen-second ‘The Great Ape Project Part 1’ is a narration on helium reminiscent of the intro to Funkadelic‘s ‘Red Hot Mama’, and is indicative of the band’s apparent intent to get in quick, give a couple of sharp jabs to the head, get out, a couple of combinations then out again. It’s Dillinger meets Beefheart, a constant sweep of rhythm taking hold and veering around like an intricate rollercoaster; the unsettling piano of ‘Drop The Back Of The Line’ preceding the mad furrow of ‘Signs Of A Real Life’, governed by ‘core vocals and changes between plummeting groove and threatening slower passages. ‘Inhale’ is pure August Burns Red, the brutal metalcore broken by sharp shards of electric melody, whilst the eponymous track introduces an Eastern flavour, a syncopated rhythm preceding a roared descent into insanity.
And here’s the thing; despite the seeming devotion to Theatre of the Absurd there’s an underlying pathos here, especially in the latter tracks, manifested in the painful, bitter ‘The Hedgehog’ and the rustic feel of the closing Outro. There’s also a paradoxical element of flow to the music, occasionally sending the whole to the edge of novelty but retaining enough bruising violence, continuity and musical ability to highlight potential genius. You’ll ponder this album’s worth and the band’s longevity for some time after experiencing this but the curiosity and bounce is fresh, and will create a maniacal grin across most metal chops.