Wednesday, April 07, 2004

Theater of Pain
I enjoyed an evening of song last night. Well, to be honest it was more noise than melody. But that's how I prefer it anyway. Fantomas played last night at Axis in Boston and they were fantastic. Opening up for them was Melt Banana, a Japanese noise-punk band. A cool thing about them is that their guitarist wears a SARS protective facemask while playing. Its hard to describe the sound of Melt Banana. Lots of whiny, slide squealing guitars punctuated with syncopated streams of Japanese. For a second I wondered what particular things in Japanese life contributed to the angst that was the wellspring behind this music I was listening to. Was it similar to what kids in Southern California experience that makes them seek out bands like Korn and Limp Bizkit? Both have fear of earthquakes I suppose, though the Japanese also have fear of killer tsunami, an awakened Mt. Fuji or perhaps North Korean missiles. No matter, the music was great even though the lyrics got lost in translation.

After an interlude, it was time for Fantomas. The supergroup, comprised of Mike Patton & Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle), Dave Lombardo (Slayer) and the immortal King Buzzo (Melvins) played selections from their three available releases. Again, it's hard to describe the sound of Fantomas, though the idea behind the music is to convey into sound what it would like to read a graphic novel comic book. Like comics, each "frame" has a different picture with different atmosphere, action, intent, etc. So with that in mind, its easier to understand that the music flows as a series of episodes of noise. A good example is this track. However, there are passages that run with a theme for a bit longer, like this cut. The energy contained within this track is awesome. And this track is a great example of Mike Patton's incomparable vocal talents. And then after a few obligatory encores, the band closed out with an apocalyptic version of the theme to Der Golem. Life just doesn't get any better than that.


Post a Comment

<< Home