Cartoon nightmare music

Apr 13, 2005 at 12:00 am

Despite having already dropped albums cheekily devoted to science fiction and film composition, and another consisting solely of one 74-minute noise-rock track, Fantomas may have managed to out-strange itself. This 30-song disc is a surreal, violent exercise in musical schizophrenia — a split-concept album that serves as a tribute to both cartoon music and the month of April (each track is titled for the date and day of the week for April 2005). Some passages vibrantly re-create Looney Tunes and Merrie Melodies music; others simply disintegrate into thrashing metal riffs that bludgeon the space between bytes of opera singers, cartoonish sound effects and other random noises. The only constant is that there’s a new twist every 20 seconds. Front man Mike Patton (remember Faith No More?) is frequently unintelligible, grunting, barking and yelling far more than he actually sings; bassist Trevor Dunn and Slayer drummer Dave Lombardo give the album a pummeling rhythm section, and Melvin Buzz Osborne’s guitar scarily shreds, grinds and chugs in all the worst places. What’s best about Suspended Animation is that it’s great music to have nightmares to. And that’s a good thing.


Sunday, April 17, at St. Andrew’s Hall (431 E. Congress, Detroit; 313-961-MELT).

Gary Blackwell writes about music for Metro Times. Send comments to [email protected].