Quiverleg – Lick My Tractor*
*not to be confused with the Walton’s Lik My Traktor.
Mike sent me this CD, and there’s a story of how I got it. Ready? It’s like this: We love Paul MacLeod, we used to go see him at the Walper. I own all his CDs. He made one CD with a band called Hibakusha (it’s also awesome). The rest of Hibakusha (sans MacLeod) made this CD under the name Quiverleg. Mike’s friend Meat knows Paul, gave Mike a copy of the CD, it made it’s way to me. Got all that? Good, ‘cos I’m pretty sure that’s how it all went down. I was thrilled to receive this!
Oh, and before we begin: just to save myself typing it over and over again, I hear influences of Faith No More, Frank Zappa, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and others, in this record. Also, I will not type THIS IS AWESOME! for every track. It is implied.
Alright, we go.
Excellent album opener Good Good is jazzy, wonky greatness. It’s a little all over the place but that is its absolute charm. Know Thy Crack picks up the pace and keeps the jazzy feel with rock injections. A softer bit goes into heavy riffage (with cowbell!).
Captain Suxen starts out with a funny phone message, then goes totally funky. Very Zappa, this one. I liked the heavier bit at the solo section. Little Bo Peep is a jittery, heavy, odd-time-signature tune. What a cool freak-out rocker, and there’s a fun drum outro…
Nobody Up Here But Us Pigeons’ odd, almost church-like intro becomes a short, innocent little tune (about childhood, I guess)? Also very short is Chin Music; Music, which is a sweet horn instrumental that acts as segue into Pink Lemonade Tanker, which is jazzy but also has a reggae beat. Bongos! Trumpets! Rock riffs! Think Reel Big Fish, actually.
Pissed And Bald starts out with a saxy intro, then goes into (what sounds like) another short phone message. Odd. Big Malnourished Doublin’ Mama’s lovely guitar runs are punctuated with beat-style spoken poetry. Mode D-Auto immediately made me hopeful for a full-on punk track, but it morphs into another FNM-style rocker. Still cool.
My Cheese Stick is a funny recorded conversation about a stachel and a stolen cheese stick. So weird. Meatloaf starts out with a motorcycle engine revving and then, incongruously, it becomes a beautiful jazz piano track. I’m telling you, this CD should come with a warning label to hold onto your hat! Anyway, this is a funny tune and, of course, the band comes in eventually, sax and all.
Impromptu Big Tattoo is another funky rocker, by now typical fare for ths record – but by no means is this typical for anything else you’ve heard this week. It all just has such a great sensibility! The Nut Song is a short, hilarious country-style acapella, while the (also short) Woodenleg Hip is a funky, bassy instrumental.
Bushfire is a crazy-all-over-the-place funk rock jazz ska track with instrumental freakouts. Beautiful. It fits the record perfectly. Chin Music, Part II is another pretty horn section, which segues into Come To Daddy, another jazzy track that is a sax showcase. Great!
Corprolite King keeps the funky beat and bop rocks along happily. Holy crap this CD is fun. And, finally, Finale opens to the sound of applause, then a jaunty organ with drums, then the sounds of a symphony warming up, at the end. What a tease! If any track could properly end this record, this would be it.
In sum? One of the coolest CDs I’ve heard in ages. I absolutely loved it. Very FNM with Zappa soup on the side. But also still uniquely their own. It’s so funky jazzy and it rocks out and it’s right over the top. Totally creative effort here, and the band is completely unabashed by it. Two total thumbs up.
My huge thanks to Mike for sending this on, and Meat, and Paul MacLeod, and to the members of Quiverleg for even making this blast of awesome.
PS Yes, for those of you playing the home game, this all adds up to 20 tracks of mayhem. Sure, some of them are short, but this album is a workout and a half on content alone.