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Old 04-22-2009, 01:56 AM   #1 (permalink)
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Post BillóBat Man (2005)

BillóBat Man (2005)
Grasshopper Records

I'm sitting here with no underpants on staring at a lime green price tag glued to the top of my Diet Coke (a recent investment in both energy and body image) blaring 149 at me in big letters. There's no decimal or currency symbol to speak of, just a generic number. For all I know, I could've paid 149 rupees for this piece of ****. The fact of the matter is, I don't actually know. I was out of cigarettes and was as tired as Dane Cook's stand-up. The clerk was on the phone (with a friend, judging by the upbeat tone of his voice; although, I'm not completely ruling out a sex-line operator considering the hour and the far-less-than-dapper look of his figure), and I heard him say, "Man, that's just retarded."

Usually, I wouldn't have given it a second though. As a matter of fact, many things have been classified as "retarded" by me in the past week. So, what's with the hypocritical foreshadowing? Moments before, the Lord Steve Jobs decided to bless me with the uncanny insight of the iPod's shuffle feature in the form of a Bill song.

I've played Bill to my friends before, and the response seems to be the same across the board: "This sounds like a mediocre electronic band strapped to a retard." As much as I love to point out all the reasons the music I like is far superior to the sideways criticisms my friends throw at it (Liars, I'm looking at you), the fact of the matter is, my friends are completely right.

Well, eighty percent right. Front man Bill Gage isn't actually strapped to the rest of the band, but he does have down syndrome. And the rest of the band is quite mediocre; however, unlike bands like Nickleback, the mediocrity and the mental handicap doesn't stop them from producing some wild, rocking, thought-provoking pieces. Their second album, Bat Man, is no exception.

Gage matches every song his band plays with equal intensity, to surprising effect. When given a powerful, metal piece like "Steve Pepper", Gage manages to come across as an intense, head-banging orator, pounding out notes and syllables with the same fervor you'd expect to find in a similar set up. The same goes with more mellow tracks, like "All My Heart and All My Life". Gage does what few modern mainstream musicians can by actually "feeling" the music, letting it take him over, and using his voice to channel that feeling into something that can be shared with others.

Throughout Bat Man, Gage and his band explore several different genres, like softcore space-rock ("Cream"), traditional rock-and-roll ("Bad Clothes"), and even an ambient, oriental piece ("Chinese"). Throughout all of them, Gage understands how the music is making him feel, and channels it flawlessly.

There are many reasons to buy this album. Many will buy it to hear the novelty then proceed to use it as a coaster (or a trashcan filler). You could always just use as intended and just rock out, but if you take that route, you miss the viable option of seeming like a pompous music snob by belittling your friends when they think that the music sounds "retarded", or the even more viable option of playing it for ladies to show how caring you are by supporting persons with disabilities (and how you can also support them while you're gettin' all up in their pants). If you're a lady, you can use this album to get into your own pants, but I don't see that as an appropriate pretense to buy this album. Ideally, you'll pick it up, listen to it, enjoy the heartfelt music created by this group of guys, then incorporate it into your music playlist and go about the rest of your business.

BillóBat Man: 6/10

Track list:
  1. Cream
  2. The Spider
  3. Big Foot
  4. Chinese
  5. Steve Pepper
  6. All My Heart And All My Life
  7. Bad Clothes
  8. The Devil
  9. Crime

Last edited by Zachary Lewis; 04-22-2009 at 02:04 AM. Reason: Adding additional details.
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Old 04-25-2009, 02:22 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I'm sold Very entertaining review.
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Old 04-25-2009, 03:01 PM   #3 (permalink)
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well, i just heard some of their stuff on Last FM, and they're pretty good.
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isn't this one of the main reasons for this entire site?

what's next? a thread made specifically to banter about music?
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