Thursday, February 20, 2014

Kayfabe: Laamb of G.O.D.


The Dead Science was a favorite of mine while I was living in Washington about ten years ago; they were based in Seattle, rooted in a strange marriage of influences spanning black metal, free jazz, Shudder to Think, and comic book villains, and there was no one quite like them. Eventually, they split off and spun off -- singer/guitarist Sam Mickens moved off to Brooklyn and became a goddamn performer, drummer Nick Tamburro started playing with Ava Mendoza around the San Francisco area, and bassist Jherek Bischoff assembled an orchestral masterpiece (no beating around the bush, there).

Mickens just put out a new, crowd-funded record, Kayfabe: Laamb of G.O.D. While it's a natural follow-up to 2011's Slay & Slake, this record is, truly, his Ziggy Stardust moment. It's an ambitious, 15-track album to which every detail has obviously been attended, and it is the type of art that one can only aspire to make and then carry out after struggle, desperation, and drive have kicked in. If Mickens has ever had a Party at Kitty and Stud's moment, then Kayfabe is his Rocky. 

I have mixed feelings about the decadence of it, and perhaps this stems from the fact that Mickens is not only into Batman and Anthony Braxton, but also dirty '90s R&B, and to say the least, shit gets weird real fast. Like, Luther Vandross weird. Kayfabe is glamorous and gaudy and bizarre, and nothing about it is accidental. Mickens is an excellent singer and guitarist, and his record is fabulously produced. But he's also fulfilled what I imagine is an aspiration of sorts, to be in an is he or isn't he for real? league with the likes of Prince. The biggest and most accurate way to describe him is to label him a true original, which he is, and leave the interpretation and appreciation of the word original up to whomever will have him.

Purchase Kayfabe: Laamb of G.O.D.

Shit gets real:



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