Sly & The Family Drone

Photo swiped from ATTN:Magazine
Photo swiped from ATTN:Magazine

Like a mono outbreak on prom night, democracy has struck again here Weird Band HQ, and a new Weird Band of the Week has infested our tender, nubile pages. Did that last sentence totally creep you out? Well, this band might, too.  Meet Sly & The Family Drone, a British crew whose only resemblance to Sly & The Family Stone is that their leader has spent at least a few years living in a van. Possibly. Or not. What do you want from us, research?

Led by a gentleman called (duh) Sly, S&TFD started out in 2010 or thereabouts as a drums and tape effects noise ensemble, sort of a cross between Crash Worship, Wolf Eyes, Whitehouse and that sound my old Gorilla amp used to make when I would get really stoned and just drag my Mexicaster fretboard back and forth across the face of it for hours. They’ve released some studio recordings, including an EP that just came out this past month called Unnecessary Woe, which is the only kind of woe in a world that has bourbon and bands that sound like Crash Worship.

But they’re best known for their live shows, which involve a shit-ton of drums and lots of shirtless dudes crawling around manipulating effects pedals and oscillators and audience members banging on cymbals and just the kind of general, participatory mayhem that makes any good live show more than the sum of its racket. They also sometimes throw some harmonica in there, just to give it a little of that homeless-guy-busking-at-the-bus-station pizzazz. You probably have to be there to fully appreciate the whole thing, but here’s a video clip, anyway. Don’t worry, you don’t have to watch all 51 minutes to get to the weird stuff. It gets weird right out of the gate.

Best line from their official bio: “There is no place for guitars within this band.” It’s about time someone took a stand against all these fucking guitars! Goddamn things are everywhere.

Here’s a track from Unnecessary Woe called “Grey Meat,” which like their live shows was totally improvised. I’m pretty sure you can dance to this one, or at least break stuff.

So congrats on winning our Weird Band Poll, S&TFD! Hopefully this catapults you to enough fame and fortune that you can come wreck some drum kits here in America.

Links:

P.S. After we join our fellow Americans in stuffing our faces with turkey and trampling fellow shoppers in a stampede for the new iPads, we’re taking a little vacation time. But don’t worry, this break will be much shorter than our last one. We’ll be back with more weird bands in a couple weeks. Y’all try to stay out of trouble till then, OK?

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November Weird Band Poll: Vote for Charles Bronson & The Sundance Kid, Pottymouth, Sly & The Family Drone, or Twufee the Wondermoose

November is traditionally election season here in America, so I hope you’re all feeling democratic. We’ve got four new bands campaigning for Weird Band of the Week honors and they’re out shaking hands and kissing babies, looking for your vote. If you’ve got any babies, you’d best hide them, because I really don’t think you want them to be kissed by a band called Pottymouth.

Voting ends at midnight on Sunday, Nov. 24th and we’ll announce the winner on Wednesday, Nov. 27th. Yeah, we count slow.

[Sorry, this poll has closed. Check back here Wednesday, when the winner will be revealed. And bookmark this page to partake of future polls. We do a new one every month(ish).]

For more information on this month’s bands, read on:

Charles Bronson & The Sundance Kid

charlesbronson

A duo from the San Francisco Bay Area with a thing for fezzes and Casio beats, CB&TSK play lo-fi, garage-y synth-rock “from the depths of our hearts, funny bones,” they say. Here’s a video they made for Halloween, and here’s our favorite song from their Bandcamp page.

Pottymouth

Pottymouth

This costumed band obsessed with all things fecal is from right here in Los Angeles, and let me tell you, we couldn’t be prouder. Led by a singer named Dread Spaghetti, who kind of looks like an Adult Swim cartoon parody of one of those late ’90s wallet-chain bands, they also feature a guy in a gorilla suit called Tumor Master Kush and a guy in a chicken suit called Larry Drunken Liver. Here’s their Reverb Nation page, and here’s the video to their song “Poo Poo Party Platter,” which—fair warning—is not about Chinese food.

Sly & The Family Drone

Sly & The Family Drone

An improvisational noise band from London, Sly & The Family Drone use only drums and processed tape loops to create harsh, droning soundscapes, which as far as we can tell do not include any covers of “Everyday People” or “Dance to the Music.” They do have one studio album out called Unnecessary Woe, but they’re in full effect in a live setting, where they sometimes distribute pieces of their drum kits among the audience so everyone can bang along. You can hear some live sets on their SoundCloud page and read more about the band on Facebook.

Twufee the Wondermoose

Twufee the Wondermoose

Twufee is the solo project of a longtime TWBITW reader named Josh. Josh lives somewhere in Florida and describes his music thusly: “The music I make will span whatever genre I choose. At the moment, I am working on an EP of experimental synth pop music, recording stuff with my garage punk band, smooth jazz beats, and an EP (maybe full album, but I doubt it) of lo-fi indie folk.” Also, he’s only 14 years old, so all you other bands in this month’s poll, please play nice. (For the record, he’s probably also the only 14-year-old musician on Earth who lists Captain Beefheart, The Residents, Merzbow and John Zorn among his influences.) You can hear his first EP on SoundCloud.

So there you have it. Remember to cast your vote before midnight Sunday, Nov. 24th, and may the weirdest band win.