The Of - Escape Goat

by Jeff Penczak Rating:7 Release Date:2015-05-19

Imagine Das Nibelungenleid repurposed by The Residents under the baton of Frank Zappa in his Mothers Fuckers period and you’ll have an idea of the insanity in store for you from John Carey and his band of merry mirthmakers. Carey’s 'compositions' flow like stream of conscious ramblings of the local sewer-dwelling lunatic wandering your local streets at night, reeking of urine and cigarettes and promising the end is near because, like, you know, God told him personally over breakfast at the local diner yesterday morning.

Some parts of the lengthy (some might say interminable) opener ‘It’s a New World’ remind me of the beloved nogoodniks, The Plasmatics, during one of their synchronistic experiments where they locked all the musicians in different studios and just recorded whatever they played without worrying about anything like plot, melody, or anything resembling a coherent thought. ‘Damn Dirty Hippy’ is a little funkier with an actual Dr John-ish groove that you might actually be able to shake a leg (or stick) at (cool sax solo by Jansen Dustin, too).

Freeform jazzy interludes drag the title track kicking and screaming across the studio floor until Carey puts it out of its misery with a gnarly guitar solo that makes you forget what you came here for (and don’t think I didn’t spot that ‘Larks’ Tongues in Aspic’ riff hidden in the mayhem!), and there’s a groovy Mushroom vibe to the epic ‘Bottom Feeder’, with serpentining sax (Seth J Garrido) and butterfly-chasing keyboards (Dan Taylor) whipping up a frenzied bitches brew of excitement, all topped with a screaming Carey solo just so’s you know who’s the head of this here crew.

These guys might have a career for themselves if they continue to explore this side of their musical endeavours (along with the tasty Frippertronic-licks of ‘Double Shift’ and the Blue Oyster Cultish, balls-to-the-walls skronking sludge of ‘Weezils’, which doesn’t waste a second of its 13:04 to tease, taunt, tantalise, infuriate, and amaze) and leave the corny high school hijinx to DNA, The Contortions, and other no wavers. To wit, ‘Refrigeration Leak on a Stormy November Evening With Cranberry Arteriosclerosis’ takes longer to say than play (0:49)!

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