band from Kalamazoo, MI
. Their music is powered by a fretless bass
sound, super-bizarre vocal squeaking
s, and the desire to sound exactly like a Dali
painting would sound. Sometimes approaching the atonal
realms, they're led by Brent Oberlin
(who can barely sing
); the only other slightly constant members are Paul Enzio
and Christopher Lee
who eventually left as well.
Starting off with Songs for Insects, a fusion of metal with just about everything in sight, including jazz fusion and Russian dance -- sounds bad, doesn't it? It's not. All the madness adds up to quite an interesting listen.
They didn't give up on the strangeness for Mods Carve the Pig: Assassins, Toads, and God's Flesh -- but they did tone it down a notch. Dissonant riffs and floating strange time signatures abound, but hey. This one includes Republicans in Love, my subjectively favorite metal song:
Emmanuel Kant. Hamshackles, and first and ten. June bugs lick the horses teeth smiling in the grave of summer. Assume Texas stance. Moled South for Houston. Toads dismembering flies. Ill-behooved to miss them.
Then there's Outer Space is Just a Martini Away. More of the expected. Which is to say, nothing is predictable.
Still little recognition, even in the metal circuit, so they tried a more standard rock format for Black Umbrella. Main man Brent Oberlin switched from his amazing fretless bass work to guitar.
Their most recent epic effort is titled Short Wave on a Cold Day, and while they're still on Metal Blade Records, they're not terribly metal at points. Beautiful songs, if you can slide past the heavy prog influence.
There's a live/B-sides collection called Recruited to Do Good Deeds for the Devil. I haven't heard it.