If you’re looking for a CD with lots of catchy hooks and choruses, guitar solos, or other pretty things, Roar by Dromemord, the beast created by a singular local musician named Phil Arbogast, is not it. This obviously twisted and talented individual wrote, performed and produced the entire CD and even designed the artwork for the disc jacket. When he’s not creating obscure music, he plays drums for All Night Skate, Castles and Suck At Sports. Busy guy.Roar is a trip. Mixing sounds and tempos influenced by world, experimental and industrial music genres, it gives the listener the feeling of being lost like Alice in Wonderland while being chased by every memory of your first gym class wedgie as it’s being reminisced to you by horror maven Dario Argento. Throughout its seven tracks, Roar offers up a plethora of sounds created by both traditional and non-traditional instruments and effects – among them static and laugh tracks. That being said, Roar is not an instrumental CD. There are vocals, but they don’t follow traditional songwriting structures. Nor are the vocals aren’t shouted at you; Arbogast actually sings and even lightly kisses the genres of rap and reggae vocally on a track or two.
For Roar’s first track, “Perpetual Storm,” Arbogast wrote the lyrics of the first verse in English, but then manipulated words to make it sound as if he was singing in a foreign language. Track four, entitled Busted Instinct Machine, features dialogue from the documentary Quiet Rage: The Stafford Prison Experiment. Pretty creative stuff!
The closest thing to “traditional” on Roar is track six, “Skeleton Fell Down,” although even this song starts with the sound of static in the background, making the listener immediately check the connection of his speakers to his hard drive. My connection was fine, by the way.
Roar is the kind of creation not normally attempted with this level of success by Fort Wayne musicians. It’s obvious that it took a lot of creative thinking, resources and time to make such a production come to fruition. If you’re looking for something a bit different – okay, a lot different – search out Roar.
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March 27 • The Clyde