Best Feature: Convention-destroying songwriting.
Outer space has always been an enigma. It seems empty, endless, and full of possibilities. Thus, we’ve had television shows, books, plays, songs, albums, and even whole bands dedicated to outer space (Brave Saint Saturn). Crazy, isn’t it?
You can add The Detholz! to that list of bands obsessed with space. Their debut album, titled “Who are the Detholz?!”, is actually a concept album about Mars. Yes, Mars. But then again, when you consider that the band has two keyboardists among its musicians, it should start to become more clear why their album is about space- they have all the capabilities to make it sound like it dropped right out of hyperspace. Yes, the Detholz! play wacked out space rock that throws in influences of glam, Queen, They Might Be Giants, and Radiohead. And we’re just getting started on the weirdness.
The lead track of this dirty dozen showcases a cascading, twisted little riff tapped out on bells amidst a solid guitar backdrop, electric organ/synth squeals, and odd chords formed by the second guitar. The vocals are unique to the Detholz- a mix between Freddie Mercury, TMBG, Modest Mouse, Radiohead, and a normal singer. Whether barking, yelling, or moaning, the singer exudes enough suave coolness to keep you coming back for more. Put all those characteristics together and you get “Mr. Electricity”, which is a pretty average wacked-out space rock song until they throw in a breakdown remininscent of the one in “Paranoid Android” by Radiohead- a massive wall of guitar out of nowhere. That changes the song to…something else unidentifiable.
“Army of Mars” starts out with tinkly music-box sounds coming out of your speakers-before they segue into a smashing rock chorus. Later on in the song, the feature a fight section: pitting 5 seconds of music-box against 5 seconds of ruthless guitar slamming- multiple times. That’s the type of chaos that The Detholz! propagate. Is it awesome? You bet your bottom dollar it is.
You like bass? Check out the sick intro to “Robot Insurrection Hymn”- quite possibly the coolest bass solo ever. The weird chords that are placed on top of it just enhance the bass line. The chorus of this is great- a bunch of the Detholz clan singing the ‘robot insurrection hymn’- which consists of ‘la, la, la’ for about thirty seconds. The song is about getting rid of those pesky humans, by the way.
We haven’t even mentioned the Queen-reminescent “The Body Electric” or the hopelessly catchy “Last Train to Mars” or the creepy coolness of “Scientific Eye” or the jittery junk-rock vibes of “Invisible Man”. We’ll speak of “Invisible Man”- the intro has so many chord changes in it that you will be blown out of your seat. It’s just truly unpredictable- it takes convention and throws it to the wind. In fact, this entire album does. The hacked up chorus of “Invisible Man” is just brilliant- you may find yourself chanting “In-visi-ble! In-visi-ble! In-visi-ble!” after hearing this song.
If you like creative, fun rock, then you must check out this release. It’s one of those albums that changes your view on things- you’ll start thinking of new music in a whole different vein- “Is this band worthy enough to wipe the Detholz!’s shoes?” If not- well, you probably shouldn’t be listening to that band. But you definitely should be listening to the Detholz!