Think Circus Vargas meets Sleepy time Gorilla Museum and the Tosca Tango Orchestra. This album is truly a rift in the daily atmosphere of copycat, non-daring redundancies. Full of odd time signatures, precisely orchestrated instrumentation and wild outbursts of spontaneity and chaos, this album is like an eerie trip through time and space. Melodies from the clarinet, trumpet, accordion and violin interweave and swirl until the listener is left with an abrupt halt or change. The packaging even features various pictures of the band members sporting porky pig masks.
Spoken word poetry and haunting vocals touching on life’s on going drudgery, tribulations, money and relationships, accompanied by the occasional laugh track or operatic blast, makes a mockery of the general ignoramus expectancies. The Carrot and the Stick feels like a jukebox touching on so many cultures and genres.
…summoning the likes of a Mr. Bungle-esque Cabaret Dancer.
Tracks like “Bullfighting” boasting great guitar work and lyrics alike, or “Spanish Inquisition” summoning the likes of a Mr. Bungle-esque Cabaret Dancer. Even a Surf Swing vibe is put forth on “The Promise Of Reward Combined With Threatened Punishment”.
Track 11, “These Evidents I Hold To Be Truths” drops in with enough funk and sarcastic wit to put a closing to this record, but it drones on with ten more tracks that are sure to be exerpts from a horror film soundtrack, all leading into a couple instrumental numbers that snuck in the back door of the album when the ticket collector wasn’t looking.
Aside from the occasional benign feeling or lack of stimulation, The Carrot and the Stick is a damn good independent effort by the Juan Prophet Organization, and it is always nice to step away from the normal.