Slug & Firearms
As varied as the weather in March
I heard a cut off this record in the car one morning, but had to get out
before I found out what it was. After a few calls to the station yielded nothing,
I finally dragged myself down to KCMU and asked the program director to dig
through the logs looking for "some kind of big-band on acid with crazy electric
guitar." "Oh," he says. "Must be FoMoFlo."
I didn't know the half of it. Slug & Firearms turns out to be
the mother of all smorgasbords. Here. Let me give you a taste:
- "D.P.W." - Flash Gordon crash lands on Dweezil Zappa's bar mitzvah.
- "Bad Doctor" - Leech therapy for the blues.
- "Fat Asses" - King Crimson beats up Diamanda Galas.
- "Lift & Separate" - Tim Burton's Klezmer-Circus-of-the-Damned.
- "Funeral Music" - Oom-pah, loom-pah, I'm choking on an Everlasting Gobstopper!
- "Eternal Sanctuary" - Shortwave rave.
- "Stick in the Needle" - Le Cabaret Lo Botomy.
- "Insomnia" - Don't even joke about playing this after 11.
- "Camel Surfer" - Bedouin Culture On The Beach.
- "Nobody's Listening" - Edgar Winter meets George Clinton in a china shop.
- "11 78" - Excruciatingly absurd hyper-gibberish.
- "Insomnia #9" - Just when you thought you were coming down?.
There you have it. I don't usually like to do it that way, but they
left me no choice. There's not a prayer of summing this one up in less than
a dissertation. They cover a ton of ground. The tunes and arrangements are
contributed by band members in equal parts and reflect what's obviously a
very, very deep pool of influences, musical knowledge and studio savvy. And
did I mention Tada Makio's funkier-than-shit drumming?
The thing I find most interesting about this record is that for all the
noise, and for all the complexity of the arrangements, it's very clear that
there are people making these sounds. This is not random. Listen, and you'll
hear some remarkable textures. One of my favorites is the patented Billy
Tipton Memorial Saxophone quartet foghorn blast. This is about the richest
sound imaginable-a freight train covered in molasses. There's plenty more
where that came from, but you'll have to do the mining yourself. Unfortunately,
this disc will be hard to find. I had to borrow a copy from Amy Denio's
boyfriend. Take the time, though, and hunt it down. I'm willing to bet you
own nothing quite like it. - Jason Staczek
- Bill Kuhn says... A lot of this is Zappaesque (to use a word on the verge
of being dictionarized). Without the sophomoric lyrics, thank you very much.
where to get it (maybe) & production notes
The FoMoFlo CD was released by
c/o IDN 5-15-9-301
Minami Aoyama Minato-ku
Tokyo 107 Japan
Amy Denio, saxophones, bass, vocals; Dennis Gunn, guitars, vocals, banjo,
mandolin; Tada Makio, drums; Honda Tatsuya, bass; Hoppy Kamiyama, keyboards,
tapes, trombone, violin, hose; The Billy Tipton Memorial Saxophone Quartet
(Amy Denio, Jessica Lurie, Barbara J. Marino, Maya Johnson).
Produced by Hoppy Kamiyama; recorded by Floyd Reitsma; mixed by Floyd
Reitsma and FoMoFlo; mastered by Kondo Yoshiaki.