Lets face it - original music is hard to come by. It is dying simply because there is going to be a point where we've used every chord progression or lead line in every structured way possible. It is an unpleasant thought, I know. Thankfully, some people still exist who make the world a different place by creating a new sound - hell, even by creating a new instrument sometimes, That 1 Guy does both.
I do not know much of That 1 Guy's [herein referred to as T1G] history, simply because there isn't much available information on him (Not even a wikipedia article ? well I made one but they deleted it). What I know is that his name is Mike Silverman and he is a self taught -jazz influenced- bassist from the age of 15, he is from the US, (north-west I think) and he has invented a new instrument, his own custom pipes. The pipes are two average metal pipes, joined together at the top but not joined at the bottom, so it looks like a long pipe bent in the middle. The instrument is fairly taller than him and both of the two pipes have strings attached to it, one being a bass D string, and the other being a cello (possible E) string. The instrument shares similarities to that of the more commonly known 'Whamola', famously acclaimed to Primus
bassist, Les Claypool
and while T1G has never officially stated Claypool as an influence, any rabid Primus fan like myself can here influence there, and even see it in T1G?s slapping style. T1G is a one-man band and is probably the only artist who can claim to be lead vocalist, guitarist, bassist and drummer of a band- and he does it all at once sometimes.
Currently, T1G is relatively semi-famous, since he has toured with guitarist Buckethead
. He seems known really well in Australia too because he has a CD supplier and label down there. He is allegedly working on another release; however, no official information has been released.
The album, Songs In The Key Of Beotch
, is the first album of T1G. It has 13 tracks, and it is a fairly short release, coming in at 39:51. The album opens with the memorable track 'One
' and with T1G repeating "booga-digga", this similar opening style of unusual words is present in "Ball o' Bonafide Fax
too. On 'One
', the lyrics use clever word association "...I liked the ones that did not mind/over matter, dip the bread in the batter/y acid...", and certainly a lot of the lines start with "Of all the...". The voice is monotone for some of the song, but that?s not a problem. The music of the song is rather difficult to describe (as this is with most of the album). The most identifiable sound is the bass string attached to his pipes, which is present throughout the song. It is put through a wah-flanger, and it sounds quite tinny, obviously the effect of the hollow pipe. The drums are quite busy in the song too- thought it is basically a snare and a bass drum. The song ends abruptly and the next song 'Halfassed
'. This song is one of the longer tracks on the album, coming in at 3:41. Again the bass is most obvious in this track, doing a simple one note per beat line. The song uses more effects than 'One
', as it has many different drum sounds such as a woodblock, which is present throughout the entire song in the backing track.
That 1 Guy is clearly a busy-handed man as is shown on track 3; Weasel Potpie
, as not only is he playing his pipes, he is also playing a drum and a little toy to make a "huh-hee", as this album was almost entirely recorded live in studio, it shows that he did this all at once, and this is also demonstrated live. The chorus of this song uses a synth-distortion effect to create a grand sounding chorus. T1G?s vocals are prominent throughout the entire song, especially the chorus. The song, like many on the album ends very abruptly-before you know it track 4, Mudpies
, has begun. This song has a deep groove while the chorus retains the feedback-squealing that is featured through the entire second last track Joyful Noise
, but I?ll explain that later. This song is a pretty average song, and it never really excels to anything worth a special mention. The next song Birdcage
is weird because it isn?t on some track listings making me think that it is just a filler. Anyway, it?s a 2 minute song and all it features is high strings being plucked while it sounds like someone is using brushes on a snare. Also accompanying the track is high-pitched synth that sounds like aliens are invading your ears. Interesting, but I believe it to be a warm up, for the album?s most glorious track Birds
. [b]Birds[b] is in my opinion the best song on the entire album. It holds a groove better than any song as the bass is rather funk-influences (don?t think slap bass people ;) ). The song is quite slow paced and the lyrics are entertaining ?Some people get their eyes poked out by birds!?. The song ends with the sounds of seagulls and moves onto Sparkle In The Sun
. Sparkle In The Sun
is a faster paced song however it is a pain in the ass to tap along to because the drums are off-beat (NOT out of time, just offbeat). Has the click reminisant to a metronome during the chorus, which gets on your nerves sometimes. Not a great track, but luckily it is followed by a fantastic-if not too short track. Axlrod
is a fast paced, highway rock song that made me think of Fu Manchu
+ House Music. The entire song is in distortion-bass and it is indeed a head banger. The song?s chorus has a heavy bass drum on the beat, which is what makes me think of house music. The song is high action from the start, but it ends all too soon!
Coming to the latter part of the album, we have track 8, Bonafide Fax
which as I said earlier starts with unusual ?vocals?- this time ?uh-oh-uh-oh?. This song is holds a nice groove too as the bass effects is put through some sort of wah effect. The chorus has a humour harmony of vocals. Vocally the song is sung quite monotonously in the verse, however it isn?t as such in the chorus. It is followed by Its Raining Meat
, which is a hilarious song. It begins with many clickly sounds and a little tinkle bell. The song has a mild funk bass line through the verse while the chorus jumps into a dance-ish tune with deep vocals repeating ?meat!?. The song continues in that fashion until the end where it sounds like a DJ mixing his beats ? it kind of ruins the songs flow at the end. Track 10 is Steamin? Hunks
is fast paced very house/dance influenced song. The song sounds like a travelling song. The bass-pipes are distorted throughout the entire song and the vocals are similar to the band Fu Manchu. It is probably my second favourite song. Track 11 is a joke and an annoying joke! It is called Joyful Noise
and it begins with a sample of an old man talking about how the police had been called to his house because of a complaint from his music. He explains that he ?wasn?t playin? no music? he was ?makin? a joyful noise for the lord, and that?s what the bible says; make a joyful noise for the lord?. So T1G makes his own Joyful Noise for the lord in this track. The only clear vocal line is at the beginning when he goes ?Ahem?, as if to clear his throat. What follows is an orgy of feedback and terrible ?vocals? (try saying ahhhhh in a low-mono tone voice with distortion) you get the idea - for a full minute and a half! It?s hilariously awful. The closing track, Forgotten Whales
is a beautiful song. The bass drones through for the song whole song, and its 9 minutes long! A good closer with no real vocals but has batches of repeating lines.
Overall, this very experimental and different album is a brilliant one! I found it takes a few listens to fully appreciate all the various sounds featured on this CD, but I would highly recommend it to any fans of Les Claypool, Fu Manchu & music fans with an open mind really. Why Fu Manchu of all artists? I just felt that listening to this album it reminded me of Fu, with the vocals and some of the songs riffs like Axlrod.
One (video for the song on artists website)
Birds (on myspace)
It?s Raining Meat (on myspace)