OCULUS INFERNUS: IN WHICH THE PROFESSOR EXAMINES TÖXIK DEATH, SACRIFICIAL BLOOD, PRYAPISME, AND LES CLAYPOOL’S DUO DE TWANG
(We welcome back Professor D. Grover the XIIIth (ex-The Number of the Blog) with his comments on the music of four bands.)
Greetings and salutations, friends. In the time since my previous missive, I have weathered several storms in the grim and frostbitten lands of Northwestern Ohio, and I have also traveled to the warmer lands of Florida for an all-too brief week, experiencing the sort of time dilation that causes eight days to pass by in the span of four, thus ending my journey far sooner than I would have liked and thrusting me back into winter’s icy grasp. The relaxation was most welcome, though, and needed, as I have since thrown myself into my work, having taken but a single day off in the past two weeks, and coming off working 12-hour days the past three.
Still, I return bearing notations and observations on a quartet of musical acts from varying walks of life and schools of sound. The hope, as always, is to open your eyes and ears to something new. We begin.
If the fantastically primitive album art wasn’t sufficient to entice you, and the perfectly evocative album title failed to get your attention, the music itself should do the trick nicely. Norway’s own Töxik Death have unleashed their debut full-length, and it contains exactly the sort of crusty, high-octane speed/thrash metal that you would expect from a band called Töxik Death. The lo-fi production does nothing to blunt the sheer viciousness of tracks like ‘Thrashforces Of Evil’ and ‘D-Beat Destructor’, instead capturing perfectly the punk intensity of the music.
The inimitable Kim Kelly posted an interview with New Jersey death/thrash basement-dwellers Sacrificial Blood, thus bringing their foul musical antics to my attention. Where Töxik Death draw from punk, Sacrificial Blood instead look to first-wave death metal for influence, resulting in a 2014 album that sounds like a 25th Anniversary reissue of one of those wonderfully obscure albums that you would have to pay $250 on E-bay to acquire from some grizzled collector. Souls For Sale is fast, grimy, and hard-hitting in all the right ways.
And now, for something completely different… Pryapisme, you may recall, released my second-favorite album of 2013, an album which I described as “the auditory equivalent of a mixture of LSD and PCP”. Subsequently, these French anomalies have released Blastbit Rococollider, a 6-track EP of chiptune variants of some of their past songs, and while chiptunes may not be your cup of tea, the conversion is a logical one for Pryapisme, as they have incorporated that sort of thing into their songs in the past. The end result is actually quite good, as it turns out that the chaotic nature of their work translates quite well into the stripped-down style.
LES CLAYPOOL’S DUO DE TWANG
We end with another oddity, in this case the debut of one of Primus bassist Les Claypool’s myriad side projects, the Duo De Twang. Four Foot Shack is a collaboration with former M.I.R.V. and occasional Claypool cohort Brian Kehoe, consisting entirely of Claypool’s dobro bass, Kehoe’s acoustic guitar, occasional tambourine and banjo, and some simple foot percussion. The tracks themselves are stripped down covers of Claypool’s work in Primus and some of his solo projects, as well as tracks by artists as diverse as Johnny Horton, Alice In Chains, Jerry Reed, and The BeeGees.
The transformation of ‘Man In The Box’ and ‘Stayin’ Alive’ into stomping hillbilly tracks is something that has to be experienced to be believed, and although it’s likely that this album is only truly going to appeal to diehard Claypool fanatics, I still feel that it must be recommended, because it is the sort of thing perfect for broadening one’s musical horizons.
As always, excellent music recommendations, these are. It’s nice to see that Duo de Twang are no longer just a live act. One’s has been craving for chip tune music, while not wanting to do the hard work of searching for much. Old Man Windbreaker thanks the Professor for satiating One.
And as always, I am happy to have sated your appetite.
Those Duo De Twang covers are gloriously strange, though they don’t quite do enough for me to seek out anything else by them.
They haven’t put out anything else, though. 😛
Novelty aside, it is the sort of thing that will really only appeal to Claypool diehards such as myself. Your reaction is about what I would expect.
Les Claypool on NCS. What will they think of next?
I would say J-pop in jest, but that happened yesterday.
Tomorrow’s category of Revisiting the Classics: Pat Boone’s “In a Metal Mood: No More Mister Nice Guy.”
I’m going to pass on that one.
Just wait until the next missive. I expect that I will come up with some other oddity by then.
Got a lot of time for Les Claypool… quirky, but creative as hell.
Not to mention talented. Everything he touches turns to gold, from Blind Illusion all the way up to the Duo De Twang.
Now you have my utmost respect, Blind Illusion is vastly underrated- not just in the thrash world, but in the context of the music Claypool has been a part of as well. I’m always asking Claypool/Primus fans if they know Blind Illusion and none of them ever do!
I’m a Claypool/Primus fan who hasn’t heard of Blind Illusion. And I have now. This is absolutely, glorious. My many gracious thanks.
My point proven!
Evidently, you have not asked One so far. If you had, the answer would have been an affirmative.
Ooo, they have a new album out… released over 3 years ago. Another one that One has found too late, it is.
How many of them also know that Larry LaLonde was in Possessed for Seven Churches and Beyond The Gates? Well, and their demos and The Eyes Of Horror EP. Ol’ Ler got around.
Toxic Death sounds awesome!!!! and i love the album art 🙂
and Sacrificial Blood is fantastic, as well!
Not sure why, but I like Toxik Death’s Demo 2012 better than the full length. Possibly something to do with the production. The demo just sounds better to me.