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A review of...

Bacteria Cult by Kaada/Patton

Date: 
April 1, 2016
Writer: 
Adam Millard
8.0

Mike Patton has never been a slouch when it comes to recording and releasing music. He's got his fingers in many pies, but unlike some jack of all trades who end up being masters of none (think Jack White, John Barrowman), Patton seems to have excelled in most of his projects. Right from Faith No More and Mr Bungle through to Fantômas, Peeping Tom and Mondo Cane. John Kaada's CV isn't quite as varied and long ranging, but he's made a name for himself as a respected composer and scorer of films. Here they come together for a 2nd collaboration, their first first proper album since 2004's Romances.

The music is unsurprisingly grand and expansive, often intense ("Red Rainbow"), sometimes entrenched in horror ("Imodium") and occasionally joyous and life affirming ("A Burnt Out Case"), Kaada has definite Ennio Morricone leanings running through his themes. The songs have been brought to life by the Stavanger Symphony Orchestra
 who have both a booming clout and a lightness of touch which are utilised as and when they are necessary. Their sound is even darkly comic at times, non more so than on album closer "Fountain Gasoline" which has an almost farcical feel to it, such is its mix of sad strings and bumbling brass/organ.

Most of these songs have Patton firmly in the background (let's say he's lurking in the shadows as that sounds like the sort of thing he'd do), but on tracks like "Papillon", and despite that particular track having no discernible lyrics, Patton is distinctly at the forefront. His baritone/falsetto acting like extra instruments in Kaada's impressively arranged orchestra. Actually, there aren't any verses that you'd consider to be lyrics in the traditional sense. Patton's contributions seem to be more instinctive rather than wordy narratives. But this is a technique that plays out rather well for all concerned.

A typically unusual collaboration for Patton and one which you could put right up there with the best of his work. In John Kaada he's found a kindred spirit.

Listen to

"Black Albino" - full on expansive western showdown. Sweeping and epic in tone and orchestration, this could have sat happily alongside anything on Morricone's recent Hateful Eight soundtrack.