Bacteria Cult – SLIS (Review)

Smells Like Infinite Sadness REVIEW

Kaada/Patton – Bacteria Cult


Composer/vocalist duo reunite for first studio album in 12 years. 
The ever prolific Mike Patton has had a packed schedule the past two years: Faith No More returned with their triumphant 2015 reunion album Sol Invictus, and in January he released Nevermen’s début album his collaboration with Doseone, and TV on the Radio’s Tunde Adebimpe. And now there’s another reunion of note, between Patton and composer John Kaada. Their new album Bacteria Cult (April 1, Ipecac Recordings) being their first studio effort since 2004’s Romances.


While fans of that album will be pleased to find the duo retain their idiosyncratic magic, they’ve expanded their scope, as Kaada stated in a recent press release: “We wanted to try new things. Fully utilizing new technologies, combined with a large orchestra, while putting more attention towards melody and structure.”


The first word that comes to mine after listening to Bacteria Cult is cinematic: Red Rainbow kicks things off in Spaghetti Western fashion, recalling Ennio Morricone’s theme The Good The Bad And The Ugly, with Black Albino coloring that template with Spanish trumpet and florid sonics.


Immodium is a particularly strong and unnerving piece, which feels like a love letter to Giallo soundtracks, full of ghoulish portent and atmospheric dread Patton eschews lyrics throughout–his voice utilized in all its multi-faceted glory, be it percussive, operatic or ethereal (Peste Bubonica uses all the above to dramatic effect).


Fans of Patton’s other projects will be especially transfixed by Papillion, which feels like a mash-up of Mondo Cane, Fantomas’s cover of Rosemary’s Baby and Beach Boys-esque backing vocals recalling Mr. Bungle’s California. And like Mr. Bungle, Kaada’s filmic soundscapes often switch genre affiliation in one song: A Burnt Out Case feels like a hybrid of cop thriller/spy flick and French coming-of-age score.


Bacteria Cult is a must-purchase for Patton diehards, film score aficionados and seekers of the avant-garde. Kaada states that their music “dwells in The Twilight Zone where spooky and seductive meet,” making Bacteria Cult a gloriously disorienting thrill ride.


MARCH 29, 2016