The Thessalonian Dope Gods High Idol
By Manda L. Earp
If I said that this CD was dope, would
someone roll their eyes at my pun and then kick my ass?
Well, no worries. The Thessalonian Dope Gods newest
release, High Idol Pulsation, is unusual, eclectic, and entertaining,
but its not exceptional enough to be given the extremely high distinction
(ha, ha) of being dope. Art students Edward Shimborske III (a.k.a.
ES3) and Randy Wilson, along with ten other guest musicians (known
as the Supplementary Tribe) have put together a hit-or-miss album
that is a cacophonous blend of rock, industrial, and metal.
High Idol Pulsation starts out on a high note with
the first track, Meat of the Hoof. With an old-record style
introduction, a catchy, industrial-rock beat and a smooth tempo change about a
minute into the song, Meat of the Hoof showcases the talent and
originality of The Thessalonian Dope Gods. The instrumentation, forceful and
driving, makes the screaming lyrics a bit hard to understand, but thats
part of this tracks charm its muffled, hardcore intensity.
This song is a winner. Whats unfortunate is that most of the songs
following it are not.
Burying The Equilibrium is like listening to an
angst-ridden Limp Bizkit(1) song, complete with irate lyrics and poor rapping.
While the mixture of techno and rock is clever, the forced and almost cheesy
nature of this song makes this a track worth skipping. Similarly, track ten,
entitled Rattle, is interesting in musical form, especially with the
layered voice effects during the chorus; but the repetition of the words
Rattle, Rattle, is again forced, unnatural and just downright
My main issue of contention with High Idol Pulsation
is track four, Bring In The Witches (which is actually listed as track
five on the back cover and inside the booklet someone made a huge
editing and printing error before this CD was released, and though that is not
the fault of The Thessalonian Dope Gods specifically, it does distract the
listener from the music). Editing errors aside, Bring In The Witches has
an enormous flaw it sounds EXACTLY (and I do mean exactly) like White
Zombies Thunderkiss 65. Thats great if you like White
Zombie and I do but its eerie how similar the two songs
sound. Even the lyrics bear a striking resemblance to something White Zombie
would write. I cant say I didnt like this song, but I think the
only reason I DID like it is because it oddly mimics the head-banging intensity
of another band. Im sure it wasnt intentional, but that parallel
makes this track too freaky to enjoy.
Luckily, there is another winner of a track halfway through
the album. Licking The Stitches, Loving The Bone is a sexual, humorous
song, with exceptional screaming and a few amazing guitar riffs. Though the
lyrics are a bit hard to catch, they are worth tuning in for: Her
womanhood misunderstood; she loves her job, she does it good. She starts
to moan, lets out a groan she licks the stitches, she loves the
bone. The clever lyrics and high-energy rhythms pack one hell of a punch,
and thats what makes this track great from start to finish.
When I said this album was hit or miss, I truly meant it.
Where the lyrics are creative, the vocals are livid. Where the instrumentation
is pleasurable, the unfitting rhythms and beats are distasteful. The
Thessalonian Dope Gods know how to mix things up and produce an unusual sound,
but sometimes that sound is just not worth listening to. And with a CD so hit
or miss, I have an extremely hard time determining if I should recommend it for
your listening pleasure. But in this case, regardless of the negatives,
Id have to say that High Idol Pulsation is worth hearing for its
few shining moments. If nothing else, the back cover art is a hit
its a convincing parody of the surreal cover from Led Zeppelins
1973 release, Houses of the Holy.
I guess what Im saying is, dont be a dope
check it out. I liked and disliked this CD, sometimes both at the same time,
but at least it made me feel something and really, isnt that the
purpose of music in the first place?
(1) Strangely enough, Limp Bizkits Three
Dollar Bill Yall was reviewed by good ol Dan back in Legends
Post: P.O. Box 2507, Toledo, OH, 43606, USA
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