Hi 81 / Lo 61
|Volume 68, Issue 46,
Wednesday, October 30, 2002
Arts & Entertainment
'Mostly Ape' reiterates band's unique qualities
By Shiley Carter
Drums and Tuba may have a name that sounds a bit too much like a reminder of that recurring nightmare about your high school band class, but the band's musical sound is both peculiar and pleasing.
The idea for the band's name came when drummer Tony Nozero and tuba-player Brian Wolff decided to play together in the streets of Austin. With an element still needed, they added guitarist Neal McKeeby to the group and started what came to be a phenomenally unconventional musical sound that captivates people of all types.
Ani DiFranco was one person impressed by the Drums and Tuba sound. She signed the group to her Righteous Babe Records label and the unusual fusion of rock, funk and punk has since been heard across the nation.
With their latest release, Mostly Ape, the eccentric sounds of drawn-out tuba bass lines layered with guitar melodies and led by the drum rhythms, the guys of Drums and Tuba display a talent in creative music incomparable to any other sound.
The album ranges in moods from the more mundane slow beats of "Brain Liaters" to the funky melodies of "The Metrics." The guitars get a little happy in "4style." All 12 tracks leave quite an impression on the individual who listens to them.
With the use of delay machines, guitar pedals and other electronic devices, the densely layered sound on the album can be heard live as well. A groove carries through all the songs, yet there is uniqueness in each. Some of the tracks have a primitive feel that stems from the deep bass sound produced by the tuba.
The music is a bit bizarre and a tad outlandish, but it works. The band has played for numerous crowds, and it always gets a good response.
The bandmates have released four full-length CDs and opened for acts like DiFranco, Daniel Johnston and Spaceheads.
The sound can't be compared to anything I've ever heard before, and it is completely unexpected when the first tuba sounds begin to boom, but the end result is beyond satisfactory.
Drums and Tuba takes the basics from high school band, throws in a touch of guitar sounds, adds tons of creativity and gets something new and refreshing for all to enjoy.
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