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LITERATURE

 » Full Dark, No Stars - Stephen King's new novella questions mankind's ability to trust others.
[02.21.2011 by Bridget Doyle]

MUSIC

 » The Top 30 Albums of 2010 - Fashionably, fabulously late, our favorite music (and believe me, there was a LOT) of 2010, the year that some have called the best year for music ever. And only some of those fools work here. Plenty of usual suspects, lots of ties and a few surprises that I won't spoil, including our unexpected #1.
[12.24.2010 by The LAS Staff]

MUSIC

 » Live: Surfer Blood/The Drums at Lincoln Hall, Chicago, IL - Remember when Weezer used to put together records that you could sing along to and rock out to? That's what Surfer Blood's show was like!
[11.04.2010 by Cory Tendering]

Music Reviews

Screaming Females - Castle Talk
»Screaming Females
Castle Talk
Don Giovanni
Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross - The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
»Trent Reznor & Atticus Ross
The Social Network [Original Soundtrack]
The Null Corporation
Deerhunter - Halcyon Digest
»Deerhunter
Halcyon Digest
4AD
No Age - Everything in Between
»No Age
Everything in Between
Sub Pop
Robyn - Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
»Robyn
Body Talk Pt. 1/ Body Talk Pt. 2
Konichiwa
The Walkmen - Lisbon
»The Walkmen
Lisbon
Fat Possum
Fantomas
Fantomas
Ipecac Recordings

Rating: NR/10 ?


October 1, 2004
Mike Patton's Fantomas project started off like this, he was working on some instrumental music, stuff that he describes as the soundtrack for a comic book, and after he had laid the framework down he sent the music off to three other musicians who he thought would be right for the band, (King Buzzo, guitarist from the Melvins, Trevor Dunne, bass player and co-conspirator from Mr. Bungle, and Dave Lombardo, drummer from Slayer). The name Fantomas comes from a turn-of-the-century comic book character. These guys came together and worked all of this material out and the result is this astounding first release. Imagine all the best traits of these musicians - Patton's unmatchable vocals, Dunne's bass sensibilities, Lombardo's double-bass drumming power, and Buzz Osbourne's sludge metal riffing - concentrate it, bottle it up, and that's with this recording is all about.

These 30 songs stretch to 41 minutes and 52 seconds of running time, and throughout the entire schizophrenic, cut and paste melee, not one theme or rhythm is repeated, there are no actual words spoken, just pure noise, vocals and instrumental music, all orchestrated and mapped out. This music makes (early) Mr. Bungle seem accessible and poppy, and heavily driven by Lombardo's drumming (who recently played with John Zorn, Bill Laswell, and Fred Frith at one of New York's 1999 summer jazz festivals), these songs swell and recoil in a furious haze of riotous sound. Its incredible how well the sounds and style that these different artist are known for merge together in this music, which is the sole brainchild of Patton, who said that the outlines for these songs were laying around for about 2 years before he worked them out and sent them around to musicians that he thought would be right for the project. Intensely fast-paced, wrought with mind-numbingly complicated changes, Fantomas' first release is sick enough to please most die-hard fans of any of the other bands that these musicians work in, yet original enough on its own, with its own chaotic style, to convert the uninitiated.

Reviewed by James Hoey
A long-time contributing writer for LAS, Jim lives in North Carolina and drives an early 70s model mustard yellow Chevrolet Blazer.

See other reviews by James Hoey

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