One of my all-time favorite weird bands we’ve ever written about is Twink, a Boston-based project humbly subtitled “the Toy Piano Band.” And while it’s true that, yes, many of Twink’s sounds come from toy pianos and other toy instruments, what Twink mastermind Mike Langlie does with those sounds goes way beyond the sort of plinky-plinky novelty shit you probably associate them with. Twink’s music incorporates elements of everything from trip-hop to techno to chamber pop, in a surprisingly lush, occasionally funky style he calls “toytronica.” If you’ve got an hour or three to kill, I highly recommend heading over to Twink’s Bandcamp page and bopping along to tracks with titles like “Chocolate Chipmunk” and “Pipper Snitch.” You won’t be sorry.
But hey, if toy pianos aren’t really your thing, Mike’s got a new project that might be more your speed. It’s called Cat Temper and his first release under that name is an alternative soundtrack to David Lynch’s cult classic Eraserhead called Henry. You can creep out to the 90-minute album on its own, or you can sync it up to Eraserhead‘s opening credits like your stoner older brother used to sync up Dark Side of the Moon to The Wizard of Oz, and let Langlie’s eerily beautiful soundscapes give Lynch’s stark black-and-white images a whole new vibe.
I haven’t had a chance to listen to Henry all the way through yet, or experiment with syncing it to Eraserhead — I think I probably need to re-up my weed stash before I embark on that particular venture. But I’m about seven tracks into it and it’s great so far — much creepier and analog synth-y than Twink, and also a welcome departure from the film’s original, claustrophobic soundtrack.
You can preview a sample of Henry below, and buy the whole thing on Bandcamp for a mere $5 — a steal for 90 minutes of music this quirky and clever. Nice work, Mike! I bet Lynch would approve. Maybe if he ever revives Twin Peaks again, Twink and Cat Temper can have a toy piano and keytar duel at the Roadhouse.