Kaada/Patton - Bacteria Cult

by James Weiskittel Rating:8 Release Date:2016-04-05

Whether you love him, hate him, or have simply never heard of him before, there is one universally undeniable truth when it comes to musician/composer Mike Patton: he doesn’t give a flying fadoodle what you think. For fans of his prolific career, that is part of the charm; for critics who long for the more easily pigeonholed Patton of days gone by (Faith No More, Mr. Bungle, etc), his endless eclecticism has been a deal-breaker. 

But regardless of where you fall, Patton’s label Ipecac has been a bastion for all things musically avant-garde for more than a decade now. And while the label has provided the perfect forum for Patton to exorcise whatever artistic demons and whims he so chooses, there have been some fantastic Patton-less releases (see Melvins, Mark Lanegan) dropped over the years as well.

When Patton teamed up with Norwegian composer Kaada over a decade ago to release Romances, only fans that had been along for the entire ride would have been able to make sense of the cinematic, almost soundtrack-esque drones and vamps that comprised the album's nine songs.  The music drew heavy comparisons to one of Patton’s most polarizing releases, Adult Themes For Voice, albeit with a much heavier sense of structure thanks to the brilliance of Kaada, whose reckless sense of composition was the perfect foil for Patton's rolodex (literally) of voices.

Bacteria Cult, the second proper release for the Kaada/Patton duo is very much along the same lines of its predecessor in that it features a heavy dose of Patton's vocal acrobatics amid Kaada's ethereal instrumentals.  The songs play out like pieces of an unaccompanied score, perfectly juxtaposing texture and sound with a loose sense of melodic momentum.  While it may not be everyone’s cup of tea, the release is good…damn good actually, especially when measured against the duo’s previous work.

If you are a fan of Patton and own everything he has participated in, then you probably already have this on your radar and suffice it to say, you will not be disappointed.  If you are not a fan but are an adventurous spirit looking for something to help push your music collection's boundaries, then this release is a great place to start.  If you are neither, but have read this far in an attempt to remember where it is you may have heard of that 'Patton guy' before (the song was called “Epic” by the way), then I suggest you dial up Faith No More's brilliant Sol Invictus (released late last year) and let your rediscovery of one of our generations most prolific artist’s begin there.

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