• cornelius asperger & the bi-curious unicorns Cornelius Asperger & the Bi-Curious Unicorns (CD, £12.50)

    label: Boner

    The highly dubious idea known as Cornelius Asperger and the Bi-Curious Unicorns was concocted when vocalist Sammytown (from distorto-punk virtuosos Fang) got back together after a 30-year hiatus with original Fang guitarist Tom Flynn (formerly of Star Pimp, Duh and the Melvins) for a cruise into the musical unknown. Also buying a ticket for this weird and wonderful three-hour-tour were bassist Dave Chavez (Verbal Abuse, Sick Pleasure, Code of Honor) and local clown-around-town drummist Stark Raving Brad (Hellbillys, Marginal Prophets). Their fifteen-track self-titled debut album was recorded over two long weekends by the scholarly Tim Green at his scenic mountaintop fortress, and is brought to you through the dual marketing might of Reptilian Records and Boner Records. It includes various examples of dirtbag heavy-ness, blues-metal arty-ness and punk rock noisy-ness. It soon becomes apparent, however, that each tune appears to have been gleefully taken apart and then put back together again the wrong way. Odd rhythm shifts, garbled guitar flips and assorted grunts and groans are some of the attractions. “If Only” dredges up a three-note bass riff from the bottom of the sea while over-amped organ and guitar fight it out in the rolling waves above. “Call the Doctor” opens with plinking piano ominous-ness before the kindly Dr. Munchausen rides the riff-truck into town, unloads a shrieking guitar solo, and finally lets the drums waltz everyone off into the sunset. “Waiting Around to Die,” a cover originally performed by country-folk bad-vibe spreader Townes Van Zandt, is dumped in a swamp and topped with vocals clogged by tar, nicotine and cough syrup. For the old folks, “Neon Baby” and “Sins of Mercy” are unhinged punk rock pancakes just like grandma used to make, while “Jamey’s Love Song” showcases earnest monkeys on cowbells as they teach drooling, untuned-guitar playing cretins how to do the butt-rock boogie. The album ends with Sammytown’s true tale of his fun-loving prison associate, a gentleman by the name of “Lunchbox” (the titular box being where the authorities found the head of his victim). Tribal beats, biblical jabbering and woozy distorted discombobulations send us off down the path to paradise.

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