March 24, 2006

CD Review: Dog Fashion Disco - Adultery

What's in a name? Seriously? I mean, Dog Fashion Disco? I would have to say that is a slightly odd band name. Of course, there are plenty of strange band names out there these days. If you have never heard their music, like me, you have to have some sort of idea going in just what you may be stepping into. In the case of Dog Fashion Disco, the only thing I was sure of was that it would be strange. Outside of that, I had no idea. I had heard of them some time ago, but had never actually listened to them.

After listening to the album a few times, and enjoying it immensely, the closest comparison I can think of is Mr. Bungle. Haven't heard of them either, huh? Well that was a project put together by Mike Patton, former singer with the defunct Faith No More. Surely you've heard of them, right? They had a hit back in the early 1990's with an early experiment in the rap/rock crossover called "Epic." Well, Mr. Bungle was a band that put out weird rock/metal/ambient music that could only be described as weird. Dog Fashion Disco's blend of metal, hardcore, ambient, jazz, and lounge would best be described as weird.

Adultery is the band's third release, following 2001's Anarchists of Good Taste and 2003's Committed to a Bright Future. This album marks the first time that they have tried to cohesively put it together. It is a concept album that chronicles the downward spiral a man goes into as he submits to his darker desires. Sounds like the perfect for a jazz/metal combo act. To be honest, I didn't really listen to it for the story, although I did pick up a few threads here and there.

The disk opens with the atmospheric "The Uninvited Guest." It is a brief intro which only has whispered questions to enter your head, will you let this guest in? It is an eerie piano based welcome to the bizarre that is to follow. It leads directly into a the hardcare influenced "The Sacrifice of Miss Rose Covington." The song splits its time between the hardcore and a jazzy sections. I particularly liked the buildup to the close, with the pace gradually increasing to a frenetic pace.

The next couple of tracks continue the hardcore/jazz frame, and then we come to “Desert Grave.” A song which seems like the demented creation of Johnny Cash and Glenn Danzig’s love child, a morose country flavored ditty. A little later there is the laid back interlude/plot point called “Private Eye.” It tells of our star being tracked by a private eye, and jus what happens in that seedy hotel room.

I am having trouble finding just the right words to describe this album. It is disturbingly brilliant and anything but accessible. Each song is self contained within the story, meaning you can pick up on the thematic elements throughtout the album, but you can take each song as an individual construct and it will survive on its own merits. The music is not the sort of thing you would find on the local radio station, but for those adventurous souls, this is an album to take a journey into.

Bottomline. For those of you who have a penchant for Mike Patton's oddities, and don't know about Dog Fashion Disco, this is for you. For those who just like a little originality in their music, this is for you. I can just imagine the craziness that this has to be live. Very good album from a band that will not be pegged down.

Highly Recommended.
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