Rupert Bomb is perhaps the leading force behind the experimental musical commune known as The Art Factory. Always on the lookout for something new and original to stimulate my languishing synapses, I've been intrigued by this band ever since I read where they described their style as collapsing mental patient.
Enter their three CD set WKIL Radio. The idea behind the album is most interesting: give a variety of bands a set of lyrics and have them write original music in their own style. Then Rupert Bomb took these tracks and wrapped them in a series of fake commercials, call-in shows, DJ chatter and interviews with the purpose of making the entire project sound like a radio broadcast.
And so I listened ... and listened ... and listened. Over three and a half hours of my life that I will never be able to get back. I held out great hope for this project, but the best thing I can say about it is that it's packaged nicely. The discs look cool, and the whole thing comes in a nifty, handmade tri-fold folder that betrays its self-conscious avant-garde art student origins. I think it's available at Wooden Nickel, but such information was intentionally obfuscated.
Okay, brace yourself. Here's what's on the CDs. Have you ever been forced to sit through a homemade sub-public access-quality videotape project created by a close-knit group of friends who had lots of history and in-jokes about which you were, at best, an occasional tag-along? Draw your own analogies. There is a very rough and improvisational feel to the recordings (as admitted in that they were just learning to use their recording equipment) which is probably the intent and spirit of The Art Factory, but it doesn't bode well for repeated, or even single, listens. Humor-wise, I would recommend this set for those who own every episode of South Park and consider coarse words to be funny just because they are blacklisted somewhere. Sheesh! I sound like a prude and an old fart writing this, but the truth of it is that this is just plain stupid! I'm sure they'll take that as a compliment and proof of their ingenuity. As I've stated before, I like to be surprised and shocked by creative, original inventions but there's nothing original or creative about this whole mess except the concept which suffers from excessively self-indulgent execution.
And what about those songs? Some of them are actually pretty decent! It was nice to finally hear The Sods, and the extreme level of professionalism of The Migraines, despite the rough demo quality and hasty execution, was a genuine treat, only making everything else seem all the more amateur. But it's not like you can even cue up to hear just the songs because they are buried in each track, often behind up to 10 minutes of sound montage that makes Revolution No. 9 fast-paced and exciting. It's not all for naught. I mean, the skit about the guy who plays his guitar with a hotdog was good for a few chuckles, but like everything else the swamp muck you have to slog through to get to the rare good bits just isn't worth it.
Unless you love amateur improv or you and/or a blood relative are in the following list of bands on this project, I suggest you avoid this collection like a poo-poo diaper: Dick Burns, Skuzzy Bogie, Adam Baker, Jesus Saves (With a Kroger Plus Card), Lucid, PK, BDP, Gus the Busboy, The Lurking Corpses, In The Darkness, Zot Zot Circus Troop, The Sods, World Against, Migraines, Keep Frozen, Flying Dildo, For The Birds, MB3, The Fritz, Andromeda, Big John And the Humping Stallions, Stinky Whizzlecheeks, Scooter McNasty And The Pee-Pants, Cioa Bella, All At Once, Molaka.
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