His Name Is Nnnnnn-A Musical Extravaganza[CD]
You know tapas? It's the Spanish practice of serving a tiny but very tasty bite of food, then you pause for a bit of conversation and a drink, then there's a small serving of a very different but (again) extremely tasty snack, then more drinks and conversation... Well David Cosgrove, the moving force behind Makkiwhipdies, presents his music in a similar way. A few bars of wonderfully played, rather unconventional music, then a few weird voice-overs, a few bars of something completely different but just as spicy, then a few lines of Python-esque monolog, then a few more bars ... and so on. The whole thing makes virtually no sense at all - but then, it's really not supposed to. And as frustratingly disjointed as it is, the whole experience is surprisingly addictive and you might find yourself visiting this particular tapas bar again and again. Alternatively - imagine a sort of musical train-of-thought - with a talented musician laying down a few licks, then we hear his thoughts - just snippets of random, half-developed musings - then he moves on to the next lick ... and you get the scary impression of an apparently half-developed mind. Or think Frank Zappa in his most weird but brilliant moments - in say Just Another Band From LA. The second half of the Makkiwhipdies album is marginally less peculiar. It is musically tighter, almost as unconventional, and there are fewer vocal inserts. So His Name Is NNNNNN is avant garde progressive music, with a refreshingly blatant disrespect for the rules. It's an aggravating, infuriatingly self-indulgent, absurd, collection of head-scratching absurdities - it's often brilliant, often puerile, and it's as catchy as hell and has powerful hooks. The album is all instrumental - in that there aren't any serious attempts at singing - so don't ask what it's about - and the song titles won't give you much clue either with names like 'Vicious Cruiser', 'Bobby-O-Bobby', 'Increasingly Pathetic', and 'Dracula Hamster'. There's the standard rock ensemble - with emphasis on guitar, piano, and some particularly well constructed chops on the bass guitar. But these are augmented by plenty of electronica, found-sound inserts, as well as theremin, marimba, and English horn - all contributing to the CD's creative, eccentric vibe. David Cosgrove describes himself as a '...conservatory-trained musical theorist, classically-trained sound recording engineer, multi-instrumentalist, philanthropist, avant-garde groundskeeper, perpetual green-thumb, web developer'. He's clearly a multi-talented guy, but after hearing this record you might question his sanity - and he had me questioning my own sanity when I found myself liking it. This is really unusual stuff - and you should try it.
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