Romances – AGOUTI MUSIC (review)




Traversing the fathomless vortex of cinematic cartoon dementia is awfully perplexing and frightful, but fear not! Norwegian sound manipulator John Kaada (Cloroform) and the ever-eclectic Mike Patton (Mr.Bungle, Faith No More, Fantomas, Tomahawk and Lovage) will guide you through Romances harrowing murky depths.


Patton’s versatile vocal inflections mesmerize as the tuneful tenor shrills and trills in haunting falsetto. Kaada’s arrangements astound with the hypnotic sway of dazzlingly deadly jellyfish, simultaneously channeling the thematic splendor of early sci-fi and horror films. This is not surprising because the men share an unwavering affinity for eerie soundtracks (Patton’s band, Fantomas on The Director’s Cut and Kaada’s scoring of numerous Scandinavian flicks).


This alluring album sounds like what might have occurred if Disneyland had integrated Toon Town and The Haunted Mansion as a single attraction and then Tim Burton revamped the whole thing.


Whereas Kaada’s debut record on Patton’s Ipecac Label, Thank You For Giving Me Your Valuable Time, spliced modern electronic music with samples of ’60s soul, R&B and doo-wop, Romances reveals his aptitude for rhythmically creepy experimentation and crawling transitions. It’s a chillingly beautiful juxtaposition of diversely emotive sounds and suspense. Combined with Patton’s melodiously wicked contributions, this is incredibly strange and delightfully spooky stuff, guaranteed!


– Eli Ellsworth