steering clear of the mainstream
since 2001

june 2010

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info opinion

Billy Syndrome

"Between" CDR

Slutfish Records

Genres: experimental rock, psychedelic rock, acid rock

Slutfish Records
327 Bedford Ave #A2
Brooklyn, NY 11211

Nov 25 - Dec 1 2002

Last time we saw Billy Syndrome, we didn't even hesitate to call his music stupid. Perhaps that was attributable to his previous effort's title, The Stupidest Show on Earth, but it really was pretty stupid, y'know? Stupid, yet good. Oddly enough. So here he is again, with a new CDR titled Between. And guess what? He's still stupid. Thank heavens for that.

Composed of various psychedelic rock songs and interesting sound experiments, Billy has not lost his touch at all. From the nonsensical poetry of "Experiments in Fear" to the stoned rock of "What Do You Want From Me Baby?", and even the 60's acid-esque craziness of "Pledging My Love" (a cover, nonetheless), Between is a solid circular disc of crunchy musical havoc. Like the band that was kicked out of the 60's psychedelic movement for being a bit too out there, Billy and co. manage to completely confuse the average listener, taking them on a journey through insane noises and melodies that they have never likely experienced before. But once you're used to his weirdness, you're hooked.

You see, while his music may be very scattered and fragmented, there's still an underlying zest for the basic components of rock - rhythm, composition, and even melody. And while his covers, including Hendrix's "Manic D," are probably the most accessible parts of this full-length, he still exhibits a zest for tunefulness on tracks like "Disappear" and "Pumpkin at Eleven." However, keep in mind this accessibility is not always as straightforward as you may think it is - these are likely the most bizarre hooks I've ever heard (well, almost).

Oh yeah, and bonus marks are given for the inclusion of bonus track "The Power of Love," a Billy Syndrome rarity that never made it onto last year's 5CD Billy Syndrome Bag Set. It's a funky, head-bobbing good time with a great, carefree feeling to it.


Matt Shimmer

[Vitals: 11 tracks; distributed by the label; released 2002]