Romances – LORDS OF METAL (Review)




Evil Dr. Smith: A few months ago I saw Mike Patton in the Paradiso club in Amsterdam, together with human beatboxer Rahzel (The Roots). Mike was beatboxing as well. Not as impressive as Rahzel (obviously), but for a “white ass” he sure knew some intriguing tricks and beats. At that moment I was wondering in what kind of joint-venture he would end up the next time. John Zorn, Dillinger Escape Plan, Björk, Rahzel… what’s next?


The answer came faster than I expected. It’s not as surprising as his collaborations with Björk and Rahzel, because people who have seen Tomahawk live last year, know the answer. Nope, it ain’t The Melvins again (they played this summer together with the British dark ambient pioneer Lustmord on the new album ‘Pigs Of The Roman Empire), but it was the other Tomahawk support act: Kaada. Kaada is the outfit of Norwegian John Kaada, and also has a contract with Mike Patton’s label Ipecac. This cooperation may not be as surprising, but don’t expect to hear some average middle of the road. But I don’t think anyone will expect that from Mike anyway…


Under the project name ‘Kaada Patton’ these two strange individuals cut and paste a weird collage of atmospheric music that sounds like it’s meant to be the opposite of Prozac. Laid back music that makes you jumpy. It’s a combination of Kaada’s odd, campy humour with the cartoon-esque and horror-like soundtrack music from Patton’s Fantômas into a homogeneous bundle of slow, alienating melodies, mostly created with deformed synthesisers and echoing electronics. With wordless vocals from Mike (all kinds of variations on ‘tralala’ and ‘dum dum dum’: try to think of Philip Glass’ ‘Koyaanisqatsi’ at a children’s funeral), accordion (in ‘Aubade’), harmonica and barrel organ (‘Viens, Les Gazons Sont Verts’), toy xylophone (‘Pensée Des Morts’), singing saws and all French song titles, you can say this album has a dark, Paris-by-night-like ambiance. The Moulin Rouge from the underground. Actually, this album should have been released under the name of Fantômas (originally some kind of French equivalent of all those Bat-, Spider- and Supermen: also on motion picture many times) it suits this music better than the music of Mike’s other band with Dave Lombardo and others. The music’s character is extraordinarily cinematographic, but it’s not exactly clear for what kind of movie this could have been made. If the genre “surreal horrorporn-noir in slow motion slapstick’ exists, then this would be the ideal soundtrack. Maybe they can direct this movie by Jim Jarmusch and typecast Tom Waits for the leading role?