Mighty John Henry:
Hot Air Head
Looking for fuzzy music to which you can relax and think clearly? Hoping to take the edge off your day? Want a soundtrack to accompany a rational world view? Then do not, for the love of God, play this CD! The sound is demented, chaotic, and recorded with crystal clarity. Try to imagine Frank Zappa covering Primus tunes on a bad hair day with Adrian Belew's evil twin and Eddie Vedder strung out on bad crank. Yeah, these what-if combo scenarios are dumb, but the music of Dennis Gunn defies description in a normal critical vocabulary. His guitar work is a shredded map of rock'n'roll. His singing is either thick and menacing, or a controlled throaty yelp. His lyrical vision fights off psychotic episodes, frequently losing. His wordplay is subtle and hilarious. The funniest song here is "Ken," in which Barbie's boy longs for anatomical correctness. The scariest one, lyrically speaking, details domestic verbal abuse in "Momma's Killing Daddy." The track that might come closest to standard, unexploded song structure is "Naked Monkeys (with Their Tails on Backwards)." Gunn's flailing guitar cadences are bolstered up by the lumping bass of Honda Tatsuya and the solid shuddering drums of Tada Makio. Everything is intentionally off center just far enough to sound like an art band, but tight enough to remain a bastard cousin-once-removed to rock'n'roll. If you like music that reflects its lyrics about zoos and neurosurgeons, churns out the soundtracks to industrial juggernauts, and smacks you upside the head with the afterlife's horrible punchline, buy this CD immediately.
[Creativeman Disc, 3619 Motor Ave., Suite 280, Los Angeles, CA 90034 USA, phone 310-838-2100, fax 310-838-8585]