The wonderfully titled “The Nerdvrotic Sounds’ Escape” is the second album by Italian duo Frankenstein Rooster. Brainchild of guitarist Rafaello Indri (Elvenking, Harduo) and drummer Camillo Colleluori (Hollow Haze) the band’s mission is to ‘contaminate the musical genres’, combining rock, metal, funk, jazz and a profoundly cinematic sensibility. The album is entirely instrumental, Frankenstein Rooster content to let the music – and some well-chosen film dialogue samples – do the talking.
Album cover artwork appears to show our erstwhile band at large in a world of dinosaurs, Jedis, adventurers and monsters, accompanied by the eponymous undead rooster.
Of course the question is this: is the music of Frankenstein Rooster quite as bonkers as the name would suggest? Well, kind of: it’s certainly not your average, common-or-garden guitarist side project shred-fest. There are undoubtedly fast, technical passages throughout, but our dynamic duo have much more to their musical vision than merely showing off.
The title track utilises the aforementioned film samples and some frankly odd tempo changes; the staccato nature with which the new tempos are introduced are by turns vaguely unsettling and attention grabbing. In fact, the whole album is an exercise in the construction of music using off-the-wall combinations – both syntactically (songs titles like ‘Flying In Yoda’s Dream’ and ‘The Phantom Of The 13th Orange’ playing fast and loose with film references) and musically (see every song on the album).
‘Elektro Raptor’ incorporates a funky beat with challenging time signatures, tapping and twin guitar harmonies, while ‘Beastly Dancing’ hints at Satch meets funk meets some impressive sweep arpeggios.
Those who want heavy will enjoy the fast, technical thrash of ‘Walking Shred’; ‘The Phantom of The 13th Orange’ sees a Maiden gallop, acoustic passages and a nice Malcolm McDowell sample all combined.
If all that sounds a bit frenetic (and it literally is, in the proper sense of that much misused adverb), the final song, ‘Sevean Argagn Dance’ is a little different to the rest of the album, being electronica in execution.
“The Nerdvrotic Sounds’ Escape” is another view into the slightly unhinged world of the band that brought you 2009’s “The Mutant Tractor”. It is as unusual as its name suggests; but for all its eccentricity it is certainly a record from a band that takes the music seriously. It’s a bit like Frankenstein’s Rooster himself: the product of a deranged mind, inherently clever and bizarre in equal measure and sure as hell to wake up the neighbours first thing in the morning.