This month I’m featuring an artist we haven’t heard from for a while, a former student, and a rather unusual one that maybe only sorta tangentially fits here, but I think it’s worth promoting.
King Pheenix – Wolves (NSFW)
Using the metaphor of a wolf to describe his predatory style, King Pheenix and producer DJ RoboRob completely destroy with this release. From the opening track (“Werewolf” ft. Doomsday) to the final collab with StarF (appropriately titled “Insanity”), this fairly short album packs a punch. It’s probably the closest I’ve heard to experiencing Phee’s live set.
All of the tracks somehow play into the overall theme of the wolf, although sometimes it’s a more metaphorical wolf than others. “Bane,” which features Schäffer the Darklord, for example, has that predatory aspect of the wolf, but isn’t about wolves per se. This makes for a tight album that doesn’t so much have stand-out tracks as it is all about standing out from the crowd. But of course I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the awesome collab with Alpha Riff, “Wolfpack,” with its anthemic chorus.
This is without doubt KPX’s strongest release to date, and it’s likely to show up on my faves for 2015. Kill, Phee, Kill, indeed!
Mad Scientists – Science’s Dojo (NSFW)
Mr. Negative and Havedumbluck, the Mad Scientists, have a complex and kinda weird origin story that involves worm holes and time travel. And somehow ends up with songs about Batman and Bob Ross. Because… well, science! Or something…
The songs on this album fall rather squarely into the completely silly camp. The opener, “I Am the Batman,” for example, includes a rant from Batman about finding his Batboots. There’s also an entire song about happy-tree-painter Bob Ross called “Bob Ross the Boss.” Because apparently Bob Ross was a boss.
I recently featured the video for “If I Were a Jedi,” a song about how cool it would be to be a Jedi. I’m not quite sure I’d do all of the things listed in the song, but it certainly would be great to be a Jedi. And speaking of how cool it would be to be someone / something else, there’s also “Chomp Chomp” about being a dinosaur. Actually, that would be super cool to be more precise.
Once you’re done listening to (and buying, of course) the album, be sure to check out my interview with Mr. Negative in which he talks about the bigger story found in his music.
Vincent D’Onofrio and Dana Lyn – Slim Bone Head Volt
OK, maybe I’m stretching the boundaries of this column with this, but I really want to help promote it. I’m using D’Onofrio’s role as Wilson Fisk on the Netflix Daredevil TV show to justify it, so hopefully that will satisfy anyone who thinks this doesn’t deserve to be here.
The album is basically D’Onofrio’s spoken word monologues with “classical” music behind it. But there’s a lot going on both in the words and the music. Both are rather strange, and it’s pretty clear the music takes its cue from the words. I mentioned “Blanche” a couple of months ago, a track about D’Onofrio wanting to play Blanche DuBois from A Streetcar Named Desire. There’s also “I’m a Hamster,” in which D’Onofrio takes on the persona of a hamster and soliloquizes (rants?) about his life. Both of those are available to listen to on the main web site’s Soundcloud page. And quite honestly, if you like those, you’re going to enjoy the rest of the album. And if not… Well, maybe this isn’t the best album for you.