Enigmatic as all get out â€“ with a website to match (www.killandeat.com) â€“ the northern Indiana (they refuse to pinpoint their home base) combo Kill and Eat grace us with an equally obtuse new release that challenges the concept of an â€œalbumâ€ on several levels. The download-only (for now at least) Green Bushes includes no cover artwork and consists of three pieces, the centerpiece being the title track, an 18-minute opus. The first 10 minutes are populated solely by a gauzy repeating piano pattern and a half-buried vocal, which repeats what slowly unfolds into a mantra about â€œgreen bushes and concrete trees.â€ Stick with it and youâ€™re lulled into a somnambulistic world; you might not want to have this tune playing on your iPod while driving that forklift. Light drums and a trumpet wander into the mix, then the song slowly builds to a satisfying (albeit relatively low-key) climax before settling back into its original sleepwalking state.
Though â€œGreen Bushes (Sketch)â€ implies perhaps an unvarnished or unfinished version, the only element it has in common with the first number is the central repeating riff â€“ bouncing along on the piano like an embryonic Ben Folds number, the repeating figure is joined by blank â€œbob-bah-dahâ€ vocals. Itâ€™s fun, but not six-and-a-half minutes worth of fun. On the other hand, â€œGreen Bushes (Sketch)â€ could be a perfect tune to do the dishes to: peppy, uncomplicated and maddeningly catchy. Try it.
The third variation on Green Bushesâ€™ central riff, â€œEllipsis (Sketch),â€ features waltzing drums and what might be charitably described as one of the freest of free jazz trumpet performances on record (of course, judging by some of their YouTube clips, the trumpetâ€™s function as performance art is at least equal to its musical importance). Like all other aspects of this band, â€œEllipsis (Sketch)â€ manages to both intrigue and irritate. It might be â€œartâ€ with a lower-case â€œa,â€ but Green Bushes will pull you in long enough to dig the foliage. The â€œalbumâ€ is available free for download from www.killandeat.com or at shows for a modest donation. (D.M. Jones)