Review Summary: take everything you love about conventional music and throw it out the window
Abstract "necroprog" band Skinless Puppy in a Bag o' Salt seem to have appeared out of thin air to release their debut EP, "Burn".
This is quite an interesting release, indeed. Throughout the 5 songs, a wide variety of musical ground is covered and no song sounds even remotely similar. The production of this EP is raw, and for lack of better words it sounds like it was recorded on a tape recorder in a basement. However, all the instruments are clearly audible. The drums tend to overpower the mix, but not to the point where it renders the music unlistenable. Apparently these guys don't have a bassist, but the music still delivers.
Opener "Burn" is an upbeat, ambitious instrumental passage that summarizes the content of the EP rather well as it progresses through various tempos and moods. You can tell that these guys don't take themselves too seriously and are having fun playing their music.
The drummer plays a bass drum-heavy style reminiscent of john bonham but somewhat sloppier. However, he includes some pretty cool fills and never detracts from the music. The guitarist plays in a simple-yet-skillful, laid-back style that both contrasts and compliments the drums and together they form a very odd but intriguing sound.
Vocals only appear on a few tracks, often just mumbling incoherently underneath the wall of sound. However, they sound great in the rare moments when they are decipherable, especially on the cover of Neil Young's classic "Cortez the Killer".
The last 3 songs of the EP together form a suite of sorts. "Last Tears of the Sun" sounds like an experimental mix of zeppelin and floyd. it's rather bizarre but certainly demonstrates the experimental ambitions of the musicians. "Winds of the Void" sounds like an unreleased outtake from Dark Side of the Moon that echoes along with wailing vocal lines before seguing into "The Destruction of Time" which verges on noise territory and ends the album with a monstrous, loud implosion of chaos. It feels like you're being sucked into a black hole inside a microwave while being pummeled into the abyss.
Overall, SPIABOS deliver a solid, quirky release that is a refreshing listen. This eclectic EP will make you scratch your head and think "What the *** am i listening to?" one moment and have you entranced in a daze at the next. It's sloppy and unpolished but it clearly demonstrates a band with potential. Recommended for fans of avante-garde experimental music.
stream the EP for free at http://skinlesspuppyinabagosalt.bandcamp.com