The Austin Chronicle

SXSW Records

Reviewed by Greg Beets, March 5, 2004, Music

Attic Ted

The Bastardized Country Carnival (Pecan Crazy) Everybody loves a carnival, but that's not what San Marcos' Attic Ted has in mind. The Bastardized Country Carnival is a low-rent midway in an abandoned grocery store parking lot as seen through the eyes of someone who's had a few too many whiffs of industrial-strength cleaning solvent. Grady Roper's slurred organ, Lance McMahan's noise samples, and Wade Driver's desert-mad guitar come together in a dizzying swirl, propelling Attic Ted's raffish noise toward the annals of high weirdness. "Oh No" is a cross between early video game music and a circus in hell, while the sorta-love song "A Door" sounds like it was taped at an insane asylum's karaoke disco night. The 11-minute retro-electro noise fest "Hopper's Encore" is either the sound of Atari's product-testing lab or a nuclear power plant meltdown, but this quartet's overall sound is more than just an aimless free-form freak-out. The instrumental "Ergot" slithers like a cartoon Jesus Lizard to the back of your skull, and "Revolution" rustles up a cowpunk vibe reminiscent of the Meat Puppets and Driver's old outfit, the Hickoids. They even cover Alice Cooper's "Years Ago." Regardless of tangent, the music is constantly punctuated by strange bleeps and blurts that buckle the overall atmosphere like Kramer's classic Shimmy Disc production. Roper's overwrought vocals are deep-fried in a vat of effects, which gives his delivery a spooky cult prophet of the airwaves aura. Stay away from the funnel cake. (Saturday, March 20, 8pm @ the Caucus Patio)


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