I'm not going to figure this one out. And that is perhaps by
design. The word 'fusion' has been applied to forms of jazz, but
I think that it is most apt when referring to Tub Ring.
Alternately luxuriant and playful, and like the grating of your
rotten exhaust pipe on asphalt, Tub Ring never gives you the opportunity
to become too comfortable with their music. Their satiric, cult-like
lyrics suggest that they want you a little on edge, anyway.
In discussing this album with our esteemed EIC, I managed to
equate their music as what might happen if Marilyn Manson had
staged a hostile takeover of Willie Wonka's Chocolate Factory,
and Bad Religion helped them engineer their multi-track
vocals (God only knows where the rest comes from). This is music
for people who wear clown costumes and wield chainsaws. Seriously.
We had a good laugh over that one, especially since the imagery
didn't make a whole lot of sense, but still managed to convey
some sort of terrifying vision.
Zoo Hypothesis has as its central theme the idea that
the earth was seeded by aliens several thousand years ago, and
that we are the result of said experiment. This, and the disturbing
imagery of man's evolution and eventual suicide printed on the
back of the CD cover, immediately made me think of
And, there it was, the last track: "Vehicle" which
necessarily recounts the events of the Heaven's Gate cult that
decided one fine day that the arrival of the Kevorkian Deathstar*
(aka Hale Bopp) was as good a reason as any to kill oneself. And
so, Tub Ring comes off not so much as a band, but as a new religious
cult set to scatterbrained music. If you're not one of them, you
will be. Zoo Hypothesis forms the great questions that
ponder our place in the cosmos; our meaning in existence, and
then subsequently answers them in the draconian fashion of cultist
The hard part is trying to figure out who to recommend this
album to. The answer is: I don't know. What I do know is that
I like it more the more I hear it. (Maybe I'm already being
converted?) Their music structure turns on a dime, and is exceptional
in its execution, but not everyone can handle being at the end
of a musical yo-yo; if nothing else, I try to appreciate its
penultimate weirdness. SO, if you want something totally different,
here it is.
Now, where did I put that chainsaw?
* This fine moniker was coined in Nelson Axelrod's indie
1. Tiny, Little
2. Death Of The Robot
3. The Promise Keeper
4. Sharpening The Sticks
5. I Could Never Fall In Love With You
6. One With My Surroundings
8. The Night Watch
9. Dog Doesn't Bite
10. Alexander In Charge
12. The Viking Song
13. We Are The Righteous
14. Return To Me
15. Wealth of Information
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