Lewis Carroll’s brilliant, hilarious, and surreal contributions to literature have inspired many artistic offshoots over the years, from Terry Gilliam’s hilariously disturbing film Jabberwocky to Tom Petty’s 1980s music videos to Tom Waits’s Alice and beyond. But the band Of Cabbages and Kings is perhaps the one that would be the most confounding to the creator himself (born Charles Dodgson), however openminded and adventurous he might have been for his time.
I haven’t been able to listen to this record yet (beyond the blistering opening track, which I just dug up on youtube), but between the comments below and the pedigrees of the band members (members of Swans, Foetus, Prong, and Glenn Branca collaborators), I think I’ve got a pretty good picture of what we’re dealing with. Suffice it to say that the heavy, grinding, dirgey guitars would most likely be a shock to the system for poor ol’ Charles. In fact, they might just drive him mad as a hatter.
“LOUD yearning guitars. This reminds of B.O.F. Turn the monitors up already. Cheese.”
“‘_________’ is a song title.”
“Reminds me of Killdozer but more grinding.”
“If this was not already in H I’d say move it up! Good move! This belongs on the air often. Dig it - dirge it!”
“Sounds like ‘Travels in Nihilon’ by XTC stretched over a full album. Not always intriguing.”
“Hmm. I like some of it lots, but as a whole about 1/2 the songs I can’t groove on.”
“I ain’t on this bus, sorry. More grinding than Killdozer, sure, but I think less interesting.”
“Band name comes from Lewis Carroll’s poem ‘The Walrus & the Carpenter’ in the Alice books.”
“In ‘Through the Looking Glass’ it is. Dull? Aimless?”
“Dirge, especially aimless dirge like this, is dull. M this sucker, please.”
“Don, you’re gonna get a fat lip.”