Album: Jookabox, Dead Zone Boys (Asthmatic Kitty)

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The Independent Culture

The latest addition to Asthmatic Kitty's catalogue of the weird and wonderful is this engaging offering from another group of bearded midwest misfits, this lot based around founder David "Moose" Adamson.

A concept album intriguingly described as "a love story meets psychedelic zombie musical", Dead Zone Boys blends the sonically adventurous with the rhythmically infectious: Opener "Phantom Don't Go" features a waspish guitar figure over sampled chanting, Burundi-esque drum barrage and ghostly mellotron, before "Don't Go Phantom" runs pitch-shifted chipmunk vocals over striding funk fuzz-bass and pow-wow percussion. Big drums are recurrent, with the galumphing reggae groove of "Gonna Need The Guns" sounding like the Kodo Drummers recorded by Lee Perry, while vocals are theatrically bawled and chanted. Other highlights include "Glyphin' Out" (imagine early, acoustic Tyrannosaurus Rex backed by African drum choir), the horror-movie chain-gang chant "Zombie Tear Drops", mutant blues "Evil Guh", bizarre lounge muzak "XXXiawn Shell", and "Light", on which the galloping drums and falsetto vocals conjures visions of elfin equestrians. Bizarre doesn't come close, despite the quirkily treated vocals making it virtually impossible to tell what's going on. Perhaps that's just as well.

Download this Phantom Don't Go; Don't Go Phantom; Gonna Need The Guns; Glyphin' Out; Light