Composer, guitarist and all round mad man Ron Jarzombek has produced a work of genius. Admittedly it is the genius of the mad scientist type but it is genius none the less. His project Blotted Science has just released the E.P The Animation of Entomology, which according to Ron is “…a musical score to some type of bug movies”.
The E.P was written and recorded without any of the musicians being in the same room but it’s not something you could pick by listening to the tracks. Guitarist Ron (of Watchtower, Terrestrial Exiled, and Spastic Ink), drummer Hannes Grossman (Obscura and Terrestrial Exiled) and bassist Alex Webster (Cannibal Corpse and Hate Eternal) have produced a series of tunes that intrigue the ear and tickle the spine. My digital promo copy doesn’t match up with the tack listing on the band’s website but this didn’t detract from my listening pleasure – if Mr Bungle, Frank Zappa and Primus all got together and snorted crushed cockroaches, this E.P might be what they’d come up with.
According to the website, there are four parts to A Sting Operation but I suspect they were all merged into one epic track on my promo copy; it opens with guitars like spiders on the fretboard; it’s heavy, it’s slow, it’s funky and it’s orchestral – chuck in some blast sections, blistering scales and solos and you might get an idea of what it’s about. It leaps about the place going from absolutely mental to gentle and harmonious – and there’s bass! Mmmm! Delicious fat bass. The entire piece is as if Devin Townsend had swallowed a fly and then translated the experience into music. It’s over nine minutes long (hence my suspicions that all four parts are combined into one) and strangely enjoyable.
Cretaceous Chasm opens with some inspired drumming and spooky guitars (it’s an album about bugs so what else would you expect?) that lead into that scuttling spider style again. It’s organised chaos and all it needs is some freaky xylophone runs over the top to conjure skeletons dancing (I must thank Homer for that analogy). It’s whip-like in places, provided that the whip is being wielded by a millipede, and the guitar runs are all over the place. It’s freakish but I’m liking it a lot.
Ingesting Blattaria is another dose of insanity. I suspect that because of the style of playing Blotted Science could have got away with melding all the tracks into one 30 minute piece of music but there are differences with each track. Repeated listens allow you to pick out subtle chnages that had previously escaped the attention. The solos are reminiscent of that creeped out feeling you get when a fly is crawling on you, or when a cockroach scuttles across your foot. The technical ability of all concerned is incredible. More so when you remember that they were never in the same room during the making of this little masterpiece.
Vermicular Asphyxiation has a lovely relaxed intro and you can appreciate the idea of this music as a soundtrack to some insect movie. If you’re invoking giant spider deities like a mad Kenneth Grant fan, this is the stuff to do it to.
The E.P that I got runs for just under half an hour and regardless of the insectoid obsession, it’s a pretty sweet album. All the tracks are instrumental and work well as they are but perhaps some vocal talents from Mike Patton or Krysta Cameron would add an extra dimension of weird to the music?
Grab your rolled up newspaper or thong (the shoe not the pants) and check these guys out.