This CD starts out strong with a sloppy ripper of a first song but then something goes horribly wrong and we wind up with a drawn out and overly elaborate mating dance between a guitar and a drum machine that lasts for pretty much the rest of the disc. Best I can tell, this so-called “intellectual metal” is the work of one man, a Dave Didonato, who also plays guitar in J Church. I don’t think I’ve ever heard J Church, but as of now, I’m less likely than ever to want to hear them. Too many bands, too little time. Plus I’m a little leery of anyone who’s spent this much time shut up in his bedroom with his guitar and his metronome. Sci-fi geek punk just leaves me a little cold. The cover of this CD shows Mr. Didonato (I think) with a bloodied nose – something of a common sight, I’m guessing; with music this annoying, he’s probably been fed more than a few knuckle sandwiches in his time. I’ve always had a soft spot for bands like the Melvins or Flipper who brazenly fuck with their audiences, tripping up the listeners’ expectations and assumptions – but it’s a tricky thing to pull off. Annoying can all too easily turn into self-indulgent. And when that happens, well, that’s when indulgent little geeks get popped in the beezer. There’s also a poorly drawn, pixilated cartoon showing Dave D. and his drum machine about to get the algebra beat out of them by an unruly mob of mohawked punkers. Obviously, the role of “annoyer” is one he relishes. And I respect the hell outta that – to a point. Today’s Lesson: Spending too much time with a drum machine is a little like spending too much time with a blow-up sex doll. It might be time to get out of the house once in a while, Dave ol’ buddy.
–aphid (Honey Bear)