24 June 2013

Polkadot Cadaver - Last Call In Jonestown

Polkadot Cadaver are an avant-garde metal band formed in 2007 when Todd Smith and Jason Stepp’s previous band, Dog Fashion Disco split up. They mix up a variety of genres including Jazz, Cabaret, Psychedelia, Electronica and Metal and spew them out as a cohesive whole. Both Faith No More and Mr Bungle are a big influence on their sound.

 They released their first album, Purgatory Dance Party, in late 2007 and their second, Sex Offender, in 2011. Last Call In Jonestown was released in May 2013.

The title is a reference to the Jonestown massacre of 1978. Jonestown was a commune in Guyana occupied by over 900 members of an American ‘religious organisation’ called Peoples Temple.  On November 18th 1978 almost all of them died in a mass suicide by drinking Flavor Aid laced with Cyanide. In total 920 people died, including 276 children.

The title track is the opening song and it’s the most direct metal song on the album. It kicks in with a frenetic riff that lets off briefly for the first verse before pounding in again when the chorus comes in. The songs obviously refers to the above event and, towards the end of the song, features a sample of the infamous ‘death tape’, a speech recorded by, Peoples Temple founder, Jim Jones in the last 45 minutes of the mass suicide. It’s a macabre thing to listen to.

Macabre is one thing Polkadot Cadaver do really well. All of their albums have an uneasy feeling of menace about them; Not in a chest-beating machismo sort of way but a brooding sense of danger and creepiness. The kind of music the ghost of a serial killer might make.

Tracks such as Impure Thoughts, Sheer Madness and Rats And Black Widows are guitar heavy bruisers, though they still have the creepy atmospherics and samples.
Touch You Like Caligula, Phantasmagoria and Animal Kingdom are slower and more sinister.

Transistors Of Mercy starts with some electronic beeping and erratic guitar bursts. It also features a surprising guest vocalist in the form of Neil Fallon from Stoner Metal titans, Clutch.

Last Call In Jonestown is, perhaps, less quirky than previous albums and more of a, relatively, straightforward metal album. It takes a few listens for the songs to sink in but once they do they’re kind of nice to have around.

7/10 This is good and well worth a check.


You can listen on Spotify here

You can buy from Amazon MP3 store here

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