Friday, February 23, 2018

Music Review:
My Name Is Rar-Rar / Xaddax
"Mr. Deer : Ripper"
(SKiN GRAFT Records)

I've always been a fan of music that doesn't follow the traditional ways of doing things.   Right away, you can tell that My Name Is Rar-Rar and Xaddax are not going to be like other bands.   This album- "Mr. Deer : Ripper"- comes from SKiN GRAFT Records as both a compact disc and 7" record.   The thing is, as the 7" record you only get four songs but as a CD (or digitally) you get an entire album's worth of songs from My Name Is Rar-Rar and then the two songs from Xaddax.    My Name Is Rar-Rar is a band that used to be together in the early '00s and kind of went underappreciated.   Now they are having the majority of their songs released altogether here for the first time.   That's my understanding of it, but I'll let you read all about that yourself since you can on the Bandcamp page.   There are also two different covers- one for each artist- and I enjoy that aspect of this as well.

My Name Is Rar-Rar has this experimental, weirdo, outsider type of rock n roll sound.   At times it can remind me of more recent artists I've just reviewed such as Folie A Deux and R. Clown, but the thing of course you need to remember is that this music was created almost twenty years ago so back then... I was listening to emo and a lot of hardcore- like Victory Records and Equal Vision Records stuff, even The Militia Group.   But some time around 2005 I got to a point where I felt like new music didn't appeal as much to me and I kind of fell out of the scene.   I was in Houston, Texas at the time though, so I still got to hear a lot of great bands and I feel like My Name Is Rar-Rar could have come through at some point and played at Super Happy Fun Land, especially during their SXSW Overflow Fest.

This music is energetic.   It's somewhat punk, maybe art punk, and then it spazzes out just as well.  There are bits of video game sounds in it.   The vocals at times can sound like Golem while at other times sound high pitched as if the tape is being sped up.   Through it all though, the one thing I keep telling myself whenever I listen to this (And I've listened to it well more than once) is that despite all of the chaos and the way this just seems to be free of traditional song structure, when it comes down to it, there is still an incredible amount of musical talent in here.   The fact that these songs can be played at this pace, these starts and stops, this rhythmic grind, with such precision is a true testament to those playing them.   Not just anyone could pull this off and people might press play on this and think it's too weird for them but the musical talent involved is astounding.

After ten songs of My Name Is Rar-Rar (which is really worth the asking price) there are two songs from Xaddax which are distinctly different.    There is a creeping rock sound on "Ripper" while "Bug March" is more of an instrumental number though there are these beeps/lasers which remind me of bugs somehow.  (But maybe bees?)   I kind of wish there was more Xaddax on here to listen to and that would be my only complaint with this release: Not enough Xaddax.   But alas, what is it they say: always leave them wanting more.

At the 13th spot there is a song called "Break (Silent Bonus Track)" and it is literally eight minutes of silence.    It's rather interesting because I sit through it all every time even though I could just as easily skip over it or delete it from the playlist of the album.   I'm not sure why I keep listening to it.   Maybe I'm hoping to find something that isn't there.   The final track is worthy of its own review, really, and this is something that you need to fully capture in both vinyl and digital forms.

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