So I’m back visiting my folks and it happens to be the weekend of the annual Boy Scout Troop 73 Spaghetti Dinner. So I go to nosh on the unlimited pasta and run into one of my Boy Scout peers Joe Cieslak.  So not only was Joe one of my BSA troopers, but he was also one of my High School Jazz Band partners in crime, culminating in our back-and-forth tag team saxophone-trombone-piano-keyboard-and-pretty-much-anything-else-we-could-make-noise-with jam sessions.
So as it turns out, besides his day job, Joe wails a mean tenor sax as a member of the aforementioned band, Hello Kitty Death Squad. So Mr. C invests a CD of HKDS into my palm and here I am giving them a plug on my blog space.
What is HDKS? Well, I would describe it as a sort-of electronic heavy metal jazz. Sort of an inelastic collision of Nickelback, the Dirty Dozen Brass Band and a phaser set on stun. The primary elements are wailing saxophone and rock guitar overlaid with effective gritty-toned vocals. All of this is driven by a steady rhythm section of drums and samples. I do have to say that I hadn’t anticipated how nicely the tone of a sax merges with a heavily distorted guitar. It’s a pretty cool sound and really shines in places. Unfortunately, despite the moments of real brilliance, they shift gears pretty quickly, and I’m a bit too old-school to keep up with the montage of styles. If the classic rock song follows a pattern like A-B-A-B-C-B. HKDS’ tunes go something like A-B-Q-pi-epsilon-quark-9. Of course what do you expect with track titles like Bologna Schnapps, Zombie Disco, Hillbillies & Carnies and Mellonaise.  In the end I’m intrigued, but I don’t see this becoming my daily listening fare. In the interest of full disclosure, my daily listening fair almost exclusively consists of NPR during my commute, so you probably shouldn’t put much weight in that. Give it a listen, there are four tracks available on the myspace page linked above.
To Joe and the rest of the band, you’ve got a pretty good thing going there. Enjoy, and if you tour Syracuse, be sure to let me know. I may not be able to keep up, but I’m sure there are plenty of folks who can.