Review Summary: My respect for Deron Miller and Jess Margera increased greatly.
I'll be honest, I've never been a fan of CKY. I hated Volume I
, and I've never really thought that Bam and co. were all that funny on the CKY videos, excluding the comedic genius Brandon Dicamillo. But upon closer inspection of their videos, I found I had overlooked another talented individual. Enter CKY's guitarist and main songwriter Deron Miller. I knew from his work in CKY that he was no guitar virtuoso, but in spite of CKY's awful music, I could hear that his riffs were decent. I believe I was watching CKY2K when a small section about Deron Miller and Jess Margera's pre-CKY band, Foreign Objects came on. I had never heard of Foreign Objects, but as I watched Deron performing the solo to Far Cry Behind
, I saw that Foreign Objects had major potential. Thus began my hunt for this hard-to-find gem. His work with Foreign Objects sounded much more serious and driven than CKY, and dare I say a bit more oriented towards his death metal influences.
That's right people, you probably wouldn't know it from listening to CKY, but Deron Miller is a big death metal aficionado. He's currently working with James Murphy on a Death
tribute. He even does the foreword in the booklet for The Erosion of Sanity
on Roadrunner's Two From The Vault edition of Gorguts' first two albums. I was surprised to say the least. But don't get me wrong here, Foreign Objects' debut EP is no Death, and certainly no Gorguts. I can't call it death metal, and it certainly can't be called rock, pop, thrash, or any other conventional genre label. Wikipedia calls it math metal, melodic metal, and even experimental. I can agree with those tags, although none of those really define what can be heard on this great album.
The lineup consists of Deron Miller and Jess Margera, the latter of course being the drummer from CKY. Diving right into the music, we hear the title track, and a prime example of the type of quirky riffs and rhythms that can be found on the rest of the EP's contents. Only a few seconds into the main section, Deron's vocals come in, and you can hear a bit of what I was talking about when I mentioned his death metal influences. The singing style used here is a mix of a raspy kind of yell, and it works well. A great thing about the album is that the music itself is far from death metal, yet the vocals work so well.
As soon as Far Cry Behind
kicks in, you can listen a bit further and notice the sound of a violin thrown in the mix. One of my favorite moments of this brief album comes in at 1:32, Deron's fantastic and melodic solo. There is no shredding and arpeggiated Cooley-esque leadwork to be found here, in fact if I'm remembering correctly, the aforementioned solo is the only one present on the entirety of the 14 minutes. Jess Margera's contributions behind the kit are not lost on my ears; I'm usually not the type to examine drumwork, but I noticed the rhythm patterns work pretty well.
Deron and Jess keep it coming with The Other Side of the End of the Universe
, which has one of the catchiest riffs on the entire EP at :37. The only low point for me is the 4th track, Delve
. It actually sort of reminds me of a more upbeat attempt at the piano intro to Condemned To Obscurity
by Gorguts. Not a horrible track, but it definitely is outshined by the rest of the material. But at only 1 minute in length, you can't really complain.
The album closes with my personal favorite, Destination Undefined
. Containing a great main riff courtesy of Deron, the song ends before you really even have time to enjoy it.
The follow up to this album, Universal Culture Shock
features James Murphy's stunning guitar solo contributions and is actually a full length effort. Along with this it was re-released in 2005 as a double-disc set.
Deron and Jess are capable of writing great music, and they prove it with this bite-sized EP that shines above anything CKY has ever done. As hard as it is to track down, it's well worth your time. Deron writes great and unusual riffs, and Jess holds it all together behind the kit. Not death metal, not math metal, not experimental, but all three and more. I think there's only one way to accurately describe a band like this......
Foreign Objects: more than meets the eye!
Far Cry Behind
The Other Side of the End of The Universe