The art-damaged psychedelia perpetrated by the infamous Butthole Surfers is pretty much impossible to imitate. No one who's seen the band live has ever been the same after experiencing the maddening sonic onslaught and disturbing projections. The Skivies (due at 15th Street Tavern this Friday, August 4, alongside Action Friend and Prolly) explore similar realms of nightmarish experimentalism. Singer and provocateur Cozmo Brown twists and tweaks his vocals with a large electronic box that he calls "the Brain" (and that is clearly inspired by "Gibbytronix"). With sinister lyrics about social dysfunction and the folly of humankind, Cozmo and company's inspired mélange of progressive rock and mind-altering eclecticism mates Suicide's pioneering use of electronics with Chrome's evil, atmospheric guitar tones. The result is a sound that would make the members of Mr. Bungle do a double take. Live, the band's improvisational song structures allow a freedom that keeps its sets fresh and intriguing. Possessing a keen sense of theater and the absurd, the Skivies make beautiful music for ugly children.
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