Several years ago, local rock oddities Deep Soda went into self-imposed exile, trading the stage for the studio. Now, after countless hours of recording, they've emerged with Jongles, the first in a proposed trilogy of new releases.
Conceived as a deconstruction of advertising jingles, the album boasts 13 deranged- and ridiculously catchy - musical nuggets. Although none of these tunes would ever be allowed on prime time, they perfectly capture the spirit of propaganda. Forget about teaching the world to sing. Deep Soda want to reprogram your gray matter.
The band emulates brass instruments, a cappella style, on opener "Giant Man Horns." If that sounds frightening, don't worry: the tune lasts a mere 22 seconds. The equally brief "Lord Gordon" follows. Here, Soda throat Mondhexe and guest vocalist Marie Claire sing of Astroturf over a bed of staccato strings.
"Mechanized Jogging" is a high-energy glam number with deliciously perverse lyrics. "To do it right / To do it all night / You need nipple clips," Mondhexe croons as guitarist Delancey Leathers spits r&b fire. The track also features white-hot boogie-woogie piano courtesy RAQ's Todd Stoops.
A restless melody and dizzying instrumental twists drive "New Dorp" into uncharted pop territory, while "Inside 9" gives sludge rock a geek-chic makeover. The result is a bit like Napoleon Dynamite fronting the Melvins.
Album centerpiece "Whooshies of Joxson" is a vicious spoof of toiletry ads. "You know, wiping your ass is never easy, but it doesn't have to be hard," Mondhexe intones in a cheesy, broadcast-style voiceover. "Delight your asshole with the lighter-than-air-feel of Whooshies of Joxon," he continues. Hell, I'm sold.
"Norman Dean" shocks with its whimsical morbidity. "Norman Dean, his hands are clean / they have to be, because he works with dead bodies," Claire sings over a carefree chord progression. And "Lord Gordon II (Rimthorn)" is beyond perplexing. "Rimthorn: 'Cause life's... pretty hard," Mondhexe jabbers repeatedly in the song's chaotic finale.
The juxtaposition of the bizarre and the banal makes Jongles a triumph of subversion. While not as boundary shattering as Zappa, it's damn impressive for local music. Don't miss Deep Soda's CD release party on Wednesday, March 8, at Club Metronome with Fire the Cannons.