Martin Denny’s Exotica went astray, found a girlfriend in an abandoned building and slept on a bed of nails while watching Danger: Diabolik.
Joe Ferrara is the monster in the music. A clever devil who leads you to your own eternity of immolation while belting out an amiable, loungey tune.
I am in a cave in Prague. I am totally lost as a human. It is December. Well, it is a bar created in a cave. The walls are pure prehistoric rock. At the bar, Zappa slipped some acid into Tom Jones’ drink. They go over to the jukebox and slap on this record. That’s what it sounds like to me, Zappa and Jones going crazy with the acid and the multi-instrumentation. There are parts upon parts that will stick with you. When I first put this on in my car, I immediately developed a discomfort that took me to a place that was not altogether bad, but left some of the stuff I was burying in my subconscious bare.
This is an inventive, different record. Those big choruses hit, and there I am in my afterlife watching a lounge show in my own personal hell.
I listened to this once sober on my way home from work, and I listened again with a few in me in my home, and I will say both ways offer a different experience. The man knows how to lay his soul bare. It is both a tough and rewarding listening experience.
There are keys and super-soaked guitars through classic Fender amps. Classic sounds all around. An MTV Liquid Television cartoon soundtrack. Great production, lots of balance between the various instruments, plenty of crazy space left for everything. I hear a bit of The Mummies, The Cramps, and The Brickbats in there as well.
Ferrara has so many records ready to go with the sounds he makes, he could plug into so many genres and do something, but he chooses to overwhelm the listener with his massive ability to access those multiple personalities which, at times, may leave the listener longing for a return to conventional genre. A proggy, punk, lounge nightmare in the best way. Beatnik lyrics that are very self-involved (not a bad thing). I like, “The recesses of the heart are a pigsty.”
Go and listen and find the thing in this soup of sounds that speaks to you.
- GregJaw, BMN Contributor