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Saturday, April 01, 2006

Three for a Day

Trying to figure out what to do with that extra hour of daylight tomorrow? I’m using mine to listen to 3 new bands (well, one new and two old) I recently discovered. I know… that’s only 20 minutes per, but anyway…The common theme uniting these critically acclaimed, but little known bands is, that after a promising start together, each of their frontmen left for artistically and financially disastrous solo careers. In short, they were fools.

Taking them chronologically:

1. Leafing through the vinyl at the local record store, I was arrested by the fanciful artwork on the cover of an album titled Byzantine Labyrinth from a band called Return to Perryman. Further research, both online and on the turntable, proved revelatory. Apparently, this trans-continental prog-rock sextet caused quite a stir in the mid-Seventies with a series of “mind expanding opus works.” Fronted by angelic voiced Brit Reg Gulliver, RTP received a fair amount of critical acclaim for the album Endos Entropy, which hosted the lone 42 minute epic, Stratosfear, the only song to play on both sides of a vinyl record, and were often compared favorably to the likes of Emerson, Lake and Palmer and even Yes. That is, at least, until 1980, when their ill-advised frontman left the group and released Gulliver’s Travails theme album devoted to his trials and tribulations with his former label, Synthetic Records. Incidentally, bassist Niles Bissette didn’t fare much better with his company Floorverb Industries, which marketed (poorly apparently) an effects unit designed to make floors in small houses echo when walked upon like those in the marbled mansions of rockstars.

2. Pioneering screamcore band, Throat Culture, tore it up in the first half of the 90’s with a series of pugnacious albums Streptonukeleeosis, Cultivo de la Gorgantis, and Juggler Vain (the latter featuring a photo of an armless clown primping in the mirror with three bloody machetes lying behind him on the floor). Though I’m not much of a hardcore aficionado, I can’t help but appreciate a band that expressed such straight-up energy and aggression in it’s hardcore/thrash albums, with shards of heavy metal cutting through at times. Unfortunately, their promising start was cut short when lead vocalist, Sal DeBan, left the band to start a music label featuring heavy metal for toddlers. The Itsy Bitsy Spider never bit so hard.

3. Just last year indie-rock outfit Jesus, You’re Killing Me seemed destined for the stardom they didn’t give a shit about. Their debut (and only) album Façade to the Back, garnered blogger buzz that rivaled The Arcade Fire. Breathe is Broken was featured in the Sundance heralded indie flick Grouse Flock, MN, staring Michale Caine as a mobster and Parker Posey as a seductress on the run. Ironically, the group’s lead, Roger Juarez, left the world of secular music after being born again in the Southern Baptist tradition. He now plays church conventions and Young Republican rallies as Divine Right. The remaining 4 members still play in and around Ft. Lauderdale as The Something Incident.

Return to Perryman - Galaxas Lenticular IV.m4a
Throat Culture - Dissident Principle.m4a
Jesus, You're Killing Me - Breathe is Broken.m4a

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