we got @Yesiamaduck on these weird lads this week. featuring an imo ironic choice of favourite album:
I got into this band during one of my favourite music festivals ever, the Matt Groening curated festival, a festival with many utterly bizarre and fascinating bands on the bill but this band in particular was the one that stood out to me the most. Only really aware of ‘Third Reich ‘n’ Roll’ I had no expectations at all going in and had no idea what I would go on to watch… I certainly didn’t expect a band completely covered head to toe with identity obfuscating black outfits wearing glittery red jackets being lead by and old man disguised as an old man in a living room set talking to ghosts playing industrial metal but here we were. It was a striking performance, not sure many people would have left the gig 100% onboard with what they had just seen but for some reason the aesthetic and harsh and unpleasant themes and music with a sprinkling of comedy in the stageshow really resonated with me and I was in love. I went on to immediately check out their discography only to be completely overwhelmed… by this point they had already released 60 albums (according to allmusic) and this has gone on to grow to 73 albums in the 9 years since then. So why a primer for this band? Well to put it bluntly at least half of those albums are terrible and not worth bothering with and a massive roadblock for anyone looking to get into this band.
The Residents are a very difficult band to pindown. At their core they’re very much Anti-Pop and Avant-Garde in nature, often producing music that is incredibly difficult to listen to and often intentionally displeasing but equally so they release music that is both beautiful and catchy. They’ve transitioned through so many era, genres and trends from No-Wave to Folk to Industrial to Narrative to Dance and their latest single, featuring Frank Black, appears to be Industrial Blues… as a result I couldn’t possibly label the band anything other than ‘Experimental’. And to a fault the experimentation has taken them to some truly dreadful places… for example ‘The Big Bubble’ which is an album about written by a fictitious pop band in the Mole Universe (yeah don’t ask) is easily one of the worst albums I’ve ever heard in my entire life. Conversely it’ll lead them down the route of a Musical ‘God In Three Persons’ which is an engaging story about an oil baron who falls in love with one of a pair of conjoint twins. And then you have the albums which are just, in my opinon, albums full of fantastic music such as ‘Duck Stab’ and ‘Demons Dance Alone’ it’s a truly captivating career and think any music fan should at least dip their toe in to see what a band that has been producing such radically different music for the better part of 5 decades has put out.
10 track playlist: