In the days before "alternative" rock (1969-1975), when rock-star dinosaurs held sway and gasoline was cheap, there were "supergroups," bands of established heavyweight performers whose very being bespoke greatness. Usually, however, such aggregations were short-lived and/or somehow less than the sum of their components. Punks had little use for this, however, and the concept largely died. Then came Fantômas. Consisting of singer "General" Mike Patton (Faith No More, etc. etc. etc.), guitarist Buzz Osborne (Melvins), drummer Dave Lombardo (Slayer), and bassist Trevor Dunn (Mr. Bungle), Fantômas specialize in meticulously orchestrated sonic assault. While last year's opus Delirium Cordia consisted of one 74-minute "song," Suspended Animation features thirty short bursts of corrosive metallic ferocity, mixing cartoon sound effects and convulsive punk minimalism to make the Minutemen and early Wire sound like the Grateful Dead in space-jam mode. Fantômas' permutation of mischievously abrupt tempo changes, energetically grinding riffage, cathartic screams, and memory-tickling sampling is exuberant and cold-water invigorating, albeit a tad overwhelming if glommed in one sitting.
What the Fork - March 24, 10:21 AM
Seven Days - March 22, 5:57 PM
Seven Days - March 22, 5:38 PM
Seven Days - March 21, 8:22 PM
Seven Days - March 21, 7:27 PM