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By Jessica Ford

Arts & Life Editor

Each week, the Eyeyopener receives free records from a bunch of record companies, featuring mostly unknowns. They come so often I’ve become coke buddies with the Fed-Ex guy. Since the other half of the Arts & Life team has been off playing Batman, this gives you a chance to read the musings of the funnier one of the two of us— me.

This week was a slow one in PR land so we sorted through our archives and found a pattern. In this installment, we’ll look at the trend of monotone baritones, growling poetics over accompaniment. In other words, guys with deep voices talking over music. We’ve received an unbelievable amount of albums featuring such vocalists, and by unbelievable amount, I mean two.

First is the anticipated album by Puscifier, Tool member Maynard James Keenan’s side project. I remember clearly knowing immediately that this album was going to be a gem based on the title: V is for Vagina. The album cover is set up like an airplane safety manual. It tastefully advises passengers that, “When attempting to perform cunnilingus/ fellatio on yourself, please ensure that your seat belt is secured low and tight across your lap.” Ahem.

Well you can’t always judge the musical content by the moral message slapped on the cover. But in this case you can. The deep monotone is, in the words of Mickey Manville’s PR person, “hypnotic” (see the Eyeopener Oct. 24). A hypnosis so deep that you might even be forced to keep listening.

Second, there is Eugene Ripper, an album that, at first listen, seems like the soundtrack to a Quentin Tarantino take on spaghetti western. He too has a rumbling sound that only comes from years and years of smoking Marlboros. But the most charming factor is song number three, “Alberta,” which may or may not be a tribute to my home province. But, the opening line, “Alberta let your hair down low,” is a bit deceiving. I’ve always pictured the personification of Alberta as being a bald fat oil baron.

So to any aspiring musicians, drop your voice coach and pick up a cigarette. It will pay off in the end.

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