(Click on heading to visit official website.)
Style: experimental, instrumental
Label: DC-Jam Records
Members: Joe Newman ~ all instruments
Every so often I come across some very strange release. I mean, very strange in the full definition of the word, yet also very creative. It may not be the greatest musically, but the artist in me is intriqued as I'm witnessing a musician going crazy & clearly not giving a shit what outsiders think. For example, see my review from some years ago of Xerophonics that is true heavy metal - its the sound of xerox machines looped! RSP is a cacophony of blasphemy, satire & toilet humor lyrics sung in an array of imitative Gilbert & Sullivan operetta styles - not so bad actually - mixed with tinkling "Casio-toned" keyboards & guitars, as one reviewer describes it, assorted percussion & strange noises covering pretty much every strange fringe musical style you can think of. That is, the Tom Waits type of fringe styles from rock to Islamic singing to polka, surf, ska, calypso. Though, Waits creatives cohesive music, this is purely out for having some fun. Think more a one man Cardiacs or the more obscure Howie Pyro's Freaks but without the acid or the trippiest raunchiest Frank Zappa. Is this a Moslem album as the title belays? Far from it. It's not even spiritual. Some might say its not even listenable. Actually - tongue-in-cheek - I fear for my life reviewing it, as while there is some Muslem drum rhythms & singing, there's only one truly Islamic song ... but what a song it is! "Kill For God" is a satire in my ears, but might blasphemy in theirs ... or maybe they'll actually like it. Actually, it's the one song truly worth hearing, as its lyrically so over the top it'll make your eyes pop out ... or for the more conservative minded not getting the joke it'll make you do something you don't normally do as it joyfully sings about joining a jihad, killing Jews & visiting Allah with all the virgins. As I said, Moslims will either hate or take it up as their new anthem. Now, I've heard white supremacist music, I've heard true Satanic music - two of the most extreme styles out there. I know the views of those songs are honest & heart felt. Whether right or wrong, the musicians truly believe in their message. But, "Kill For God" doesn't have the same feeling. Those musicians are serious where this isn't. Those bands carry their message though each song, Islam is just touched on briefly here & there & not much of an overall theme. It's just a eye-raising title. Even crazy folks like G.G. Allin took it more serious than RSP ... though this is better musically even if in a state of an over the top constant musical personality crisis. Part of the proof is in the music. It opens with the sound of a drum overlayed with a couple of talking voices discussing sex & god, before going into a Chet Aktins style guitar line with bluesy horns, before getting some big band-esque vocals & a bit of a Hawaiian flavor & turning into something that might be heard on an old 78 in the 1930's. One can imagine hearing this over the radio during the war & thinking in that context its quite an amazing listen. All the songs follow thing morphing style of changes, though "Kill For God" is a true highlight & flows the smoothest. But, if you want music to shock your friends with ... I think I found it! As for the rest of the album, it verges between instrumental cuts & less interesting lyrical songs. The music, on all the songs & usually within a single song, covers every musical & vocal style you can think of with abandon. It's like a lounge pianist trying to play everyone's favorite music, but only knowing how to imitate styles not actual songs & not actually having any lyrics to follow. "Polly Wolly Doodle (P.D.)" is the only instrumental worth hearing as its a guitar & washing board that sounds like the Spongebob Squarepants theme song but going for seven minutes instead of thirty seconds & with a lot of strange sound effects from cranks, chains, banging to grunting. It's Spongebob's Halloween special. Personally, I love the music on the show so this caught my ear immediately. The lyrical songs are nonsensical & largely toilet humor obscene, more for the sake of it than actually having a message ... or even making sense or staying focused to fully carry the joke to the end successfully like "Kill For God". "An Orange Is Nothing But A Juicy Pumpkin" covers everything from Ronald Reagan to grandma, while "Asparagus Makes Your Urine Smell Funny" is the Howie Pyro's Freaks or more properly Frank Zappa moment. "Christmas Times For Assholes" is directed to all the people you don't like, particularly your boss, & starts funny before becoming too obscene for its own good. "Raspberry I.U.D.", based on an obvious song by Prince, is about going after a 16 year old slut & is super pornographic, but hearing someone sing like Prince is actually kind funny. "Coathangerman" follows a similar path as its brief lyrics, against the most pop sounding melody, discuss condoms before going into the Jackson 5's "ABC". This is one of those albums high school kids play at parties when their parents aren't home to show how cool they are. Like watching The Rocky Horror Picture Show to see about the sex they may not be having yet. One of the most cracked versions of "I Put A Spell On You" helps bring the album to a close. It's an odd inclusion & actually sounds like an early Rolling Stones outtake but with no guitars & Mick tanked up on something. Now, I understand, some reading this may ask why review an album like this? Isn't this better for a blog of strange music? Yes! But, at the same time even with all the musical styles, it does have a rock foundation & coherent songs, or at least pieces of them stuck together. This isn't just strange sounds like some art piece. Actually drone metal is far less coherent on some level & more sound than music compared to this. Personally, I get a kick out of finding stuff like this. I don't look for it. I stumble upon it. I'm not Dr. Demento ... though I did once have my name dropped by him on the radio. This blog started originally with the goal of finding & sharing interesting music, versus everything out there, & this fits the bill ... probably more than most of the things on this blog where I use the term interesting in a very liberal way. Honestly, listening to something like this gives my ears a momentary break from the norm. Though, I sadly won't be going as far as Metal Hammer magazine did a few years ago with their review of Pope Benedict XVI's album Alma Matter Featuring The Voice Of Pope Benedict XVI, reviewed by Cradle Of Filth's Dani Filth no less. Really, they did. You can google it. How's that metal? Dude, it's the music of God ... you can't get anymore heavy! As for wanting to know more about this RSP, there's a lot of youtube videos, while the facebook page simply describes the project as "More Floyd. Less Aunt Bea." But, doing some digging the man behind the curtain is a fellow named Joe Newman, originally of Texas but who emigrated to Canada, whose an admirer of Frank Zappa & supposedly includes Jello Biafra as a fan. It's also primarily a studio project with only one live show known. While the music might be strange the story of it becomes quite intriguing after stumbling through it on Joe Newman's website. Moslem Beach Party has been called by some the "cheesiest" of RSP's output, but others love it with "Kill For God" becoming a fan favorite. On cassette only, but was reissued as part of a Remembering A Summertime Rash best of ompilation CD.