(Kentucky-based guest writer Austin Weber makes a return appearance with this review of the final album by The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, which is out now on the Black Market Activities label.)
Worry sets in when a band announces the departure of founding members, leaving fans to wonder what will become of the music. In these types of situations, rarely does the change lead to a revolution, where a better version of the band’s signature sound emerges despite the loss of key members.
Such questions arose when Josh Travis joined The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza as a replacement for founding member and guitarist Layne Meylain. They were already an interesting band before he came along, but had yet to hone their chaotic output into linear, digestible songs.
The release of Danza III showed a mature band, elevated by a new line-up, as an unstoppable force of laser-guided vitriol. Now with the arrival of Danza IIII: The Alpha – The Omega, comes a certain sadness as Josh Travis has already left for Glass Cloud, making this the band’s final statement and swansong. This time around they recorded with an even more stripped-down line-up, with Jessie Freeland performing vocals and Josh Travis handling all instruments, samples, and noise.
The most prominent aspect of these songs is how goddamn crushing they are. Each tune is propelled by a thick groove foundation, colliding with dissonant riffs, whammy abuse, and robotic tapping in the most malevolent way possible. We’ll get to the noise issue in a bit.