Mike Dillon‘s Band of Outsiders begins with Dillon hammering on a heavily distorted marimba. The trombone and punk-speed drums come in next. Eventually Dillon layers on ominous speak/sing vocals calmly stating that the narrator will “throw you on / my bonfire.” Sometimes a band tells you everything you need to know pretty quickly.
If you’re still not convinced that Mike Dillon is (or isn’t) for you, here’s a bit of overview on the album. Dillon and his three-piece backing band whip through pieces that throw jazz, rap, ska, metal, punk, and bossa nova (seriously) into a blender and press frappe. Dillon has religious thoughts, anti-police thoughts, political thoughts, absurdist thoughts–sometimes all in within a span of 30 seconds (“Homeland Insecurity”). There’s a lot of trombone, which is not something I get to write very often. You can dance to it. You can mosh to it. You can shout along to it (“Carly Hates the Dubstep,” most emphatically). In short, Mike Dillon is out of his mind, in the most entertaining and musically challenging of ways. Unless you’ve heard Mike Dillon before, you’ve almost certainly not heard anything like this.