No two songs are the same - yet it's a concept piece. Interesting.
The concept revolves around an off-the-wall comic book story,
and Klimty Favela is described as the soundtrack to a comic.
Listening to the album it's plain that the odd story-line was developed to
tie together a collection of very different songs, which is a reversal of the
norm. The songs drove the story here, rather than the other way around.
Not that it matters - you won't be bored, and the quality of the songs and the
musicianship is high enough to keep your attention through many replays.
Most songs are hard-edged rock with strong melodies played mostly by the
standard rock ensemble - and cameo appearances of clarinet, trumpet and
Mellotron. But it's the songwriting and - particularly - the vocals that
cause the huge changes from one track to the next. Some examples:
"City Made of Teeth" is a bombastic, melodic hard rock piece.
"Strong, Also Smart" is an
odd piece with female vocals matched with male singing in a chanting chorus,
accompanied by eerie instrumentals. Very interesting, and pure fun in an
experimentally-theatric way. In "Picket Fence Grill" The vocals are in an annoying male falsetto,
sounding like a take-off on the beach boys' singing style played over hard-edged
instrumentation. Different. "Theme From The 1984 Olympic Games" is a sing-along piece complete with with
clapping, and a pop-like vibe. And that's just the first four songs.
The rest range from progressive spacey music with Floydian influences, through
jazz, to an olde-English barroom song with a cheerful singalong atmosphere.
The closing track is a Beatle-esque cover of The Monkees' "Porpoise Song"
- arranged with multi-part male vocals over full instrumentals, which all fades
slowly to seagulls. It's a cliche, but it in the context of this '60s-era
piece, it works.
It's a pity that we didn't receive a commercial-quality copy of the CD for
review here at the Sea Of Tranquility - so we can only imagine what Stephen
Tompkins's 20-page comic book insert looks like, and whether the story-line is
as whacky as it sounds.
Track Listing:City Made Of Teeth
Strong, Also Smart
Picket Fence Grill
Theme From The 1984 Olympic Games
Dr. Becky Bolank
City Made Of Teeth II
Theme From The 2060 Olympic Games
Mrs. Jones's Molars
Then Their Heads Exploded