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1 My Bowling Ball's Frozen In A Footlocker In Chicago
2 I Bet Heaven Looks A Lot Like Talledega
3 God Ain't Got No Use For No 180lb. Bag Of Sugar
4 5 Deep On Charlie
5 Cliff Burton Surprise
6 Bringin' It Straight From Alabama
7 Bill Dance Lands The Big One
8 Daddy's Coming Up
9 Tony Little, Jack Daniels, And The Open Road
10 Big Puns Not Dead Because I Just Saw Him A Krispy Kreme

Rating: 4.0

Ed Gein
Dillinger Escape Plan
Ion Dissonance
Into the Moat

Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, The - Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza, The

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Don’t let the hilarious name or the bizarre song-titles fool you, this band plays fuming, technical music. Although I am a fan of technical bands, I’m not the biggest fan of straight up-grind because there are usually no breaks in the assault; there’s no groove. But when such a band infuses their sound with other elements, such as The Dillinger Escape Plan’s jazz/grind/metal amalgamation, I’m hooked. With their eponymous debut full-length on Corrosive Recordings, The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza has managed to take the grind elements of bands such as Ed Gein, combine it with the jagged/distorted vocal/stop-start/note-pinching style of Botch, and add their own southern flavor. Although the production on the record is raw, it somehow seems to fit their sound.

The album is constantly morphing, although more subtlely than a band like Between the Buried and Me, whose transitions are more apparent though no less seamless. On this record, one minute there will be blast beats raining from all degrees and the next a bouncy groove will assume the forefront. “Daddy’s Coming Up” is definitely a highlight, full of maniacal note-pinching--to the point of evoking a laser--paired with a bad-ass swagger. It’s hard to discuss other specific songs, because most sound fairly similar, but clearly the most interesting song is final track, hilariously titled “Big Pun’s Not Dead Because I Just Saw Him at Krispy Kreme.”

After a Notorious B.I.G. sample, the band launches into a battering straight from the depths of hell. Because this is a longer song, there are actually gaps in the bludgeoning. But even these are overflowing with tension, as if the band wanted to let the wounds they’ve inflicted through the course of the album fester, until the final execution comes. After a period of silence, one of the band members actually starts rapping, albeit in an obviously satirical way, and this contrasts beautifully with the preceding fury. Some of the funniest lines are, “Life is so trivial/I’m crying in my cereal” and “Drop my gold fronts off in my ranch dip/Wipe my mouth on the waitress’s shirt and leave a five dollar tip.”

--Stephen Chamberlain