Words by Sean Moeller, Illustration by Johnnie Cluney, Recording engineered by Jon Ashley at Echo Mountain Studio in Asheville, NC
Psst! Hey, you, buddy? Yeah, you, yeah, the guy in the green shirt, come on over here. So, you look lost. What are you up to tonight? What are you looking for? It seems like you could use a little guidance, some assistance, ya know? Perhaps, I could be of service to you and the lady over there. She with you? Yeah, she's a looker. You're a lucky man. What's that? You're looking for a good party, something that's going to feel crazy at times, perfectly normal at others and still feel odd and dangerous enough that the fire alarms might get set off if everything goes the way it's supposed to? I think I might know where you could go to score a little of that. You'll have to pay close attention.
You got Google Maps on that phone of yours? Plug in Rubblebucket in that destination bar and find that route. It's a bit of a roving location so it moves around quite a lot, so I can't just point you there, but that gadget should be able to do it. It should get you right there. I'm pretty sure that you'll be satisfied once you are there. You're not going to regret it. It's a bit of a hike, but the good things shouldn't come so easily. They should be a bit of work, wouldn't you say? Wherever you find the New York-based big band, they're going to ask you to hand over your watch and they'll shatter the face of it, right before your very own, for you'll be in no need of the time. You'll get immersed in a twisted world of bright, colorful meldings of familiar sounds and bizarre new ideas about men from mars coming down, eating you and then eating all the cars and bars he can find, as if something had transformed it into a diabolical junkyard crusher come-to-life. It could just be that that's the sort of thing Martians do.
Lead singer Annakalmia Traver is hard to figure out, though it almost seems as if she's something like Andre 3000 or Nikki Minaj in her dealings - not necessarily her delivery. It feels charged by stream of consciousness details and plotlines, going off the rails here and there, but never in a disruptive way, as the backing music brought to life by the eight-piece band is spot-on, while still being adventuresome and intriguing. There are parts that feel like spacey Jackson 5 songs, remixed by Nico, Debbie Harry and a bunch of crocodiles and flamingos. It feels ripe for the Las Vegas Strip, but tasty and understated enough to fit into the dingiest club night, where the goal is to just work out those tensed up shoulder muscles and to find someone pretty to talk to and swing around with for a few hours. Traver sings, "White lights going through my mind," repetitively at the end of the song, "Caverns," and we feel like we can see them too. We like how they strobe the hell out. We see them as sustenance.