Posts Tagged ‘vampires are real and palpable’

Tunabunny / Bastards of Fate at Collapse Board

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Bastards of Fate at Collapse Board

I have a Bastards Of Fate album here, clutched in my sweaty paws. Not literally. It’s called Vampires Are Real And Palpable.

‘Winter’ reminds me of Gogol Bordello fighting over who gets to keep the kitchen sink.

‘Further’ is like David Bowie if he still had some joy and imagination. With Antony And The Johnsons duking it out unmercifully on the sidelines. Last man standing kind of thing. Last woman standing. I am way disappointed it doesn’t end with a klaxon.

‘Chromosome’ isn’t. It scares, the way you don’t. A chaotic inchoate mess of light-bulbs swinging. Preparatory to instigating a criminal act. There’s no violence here, only violence in the backbone.

‘True Love’ makes me want to reproduce this blog entry in its entirety.


‘ID Theft’ is confusing like spiders. I’d describe it as circular except I fucking hate chainsaws. It’s all about the pause button.

‘Own’ is bedroom futuristic, the way someone else once was. A love song for the bedridden generation.

‘Ultimate’ grates, the way you can’t be arsed to. It is the fourth child. Trust me on this. It is the fourth child. Wonderfully, we have not been here before.

‘Credit’ is soda. I’ve seen your repulsion and it looks good on you. It is more pop than weasel. It grinds inexorably to a series of orgasms none the less potent for their brevity.

‘Copilot’ is the parachute falling on your head.

‘Optometrist’ is a paradigm and melee of bitter-fought virtues. It is destined to be misspelled and misunderstood, the way Melvins once were. A rumpus, a commotion, a disorder.

Here’s the website. What are you waiting for, sitting on your flaming arse looking like a Flaming Lips apologist? GO THERE NOW!


Bastards of Fate at Razorcake

This is a pretty trippy record. The songs switch from a pop sound to nursery music to a campy goth thing. The cover has a picture of a model-sized Swiss-looking mansion through psychedelic eyes. It’s a perfect image for their music. I should also mention there’s a great cat family album photograph on the back. This is the type of music that I imagine Beetlejuice listens to presently. BAF fall somewhere between Sparks and Mindless Self Indulgence. If you want to listen to the soundtrack of a bad trip without the effects of actual drugs, put this record on.


Bastards of Fate at Jersey Beat

The Bastards of Fate could be the finest examples of indie rock anti-heroes alive today-their brand of music is so deliciously bizarre and wondrously off-putting that one is unable to turn away but it is not due to some type of desperate attention seeking exaggeration, but the irrepressible intelligence on display. Shattering the conventional paradigm of song structure is a goal of many bands, but it usually defines power electronics, grind, or other more abrasive genres. Roanoke’s Bastards of Fate are as mysterious and confounding as the disappearance of their hometown’s initial settlers; Doug Cheatwood sings, croons, rages, and emotes feelings one did not even know were human throughout ten twisted anthems that should be what indie rock sounds like, but is far too daring for most bands to attempt. By no means will this ever reach commercial success, hence the limited knowledge of the band’s debut record, but for those who appreciate distorted visions spun through delightfully dissonant chaos, Vampires is a scintillating listen. Gentle piano gives way to squalls of guitar noise, shrieking explosions of anti-melody cuddles up to warm harmonies, and waves of noise hold hands with pristine serenity as a perpetual darkness permeates each effort. The opening “Winter of Our Discontent” leads the listener down a path of harrowing intrigue as the song grows increasingly unbalanced and intimidating, setting the stage for a deranged carnival of musical genius. The closing “Optometrist” features barreling rolls of thunderous noise, while “Go No Further” rivals anything constructed by Beefheart or Zappa in their most inexplicable moments. “One True Love “ is a swirling mass of heartfelt emotion, constantly teetering on the verge of unraveling, hovering effortlessly between the worlds of campy fun and deeply unsettling depravity. Occasionally, bands emerge whose place in music cannot be readily defined or explained, and their contribution to society may be ignored but all but a select few, but for those who are fortunate enough to embrace The Bastards of Fate, their lives are enriched and their minds are opened. I am lucky to call myself a fan of this band.


Bastards of Fate at Get It On Vinyl

When the name Bastards of Fate was passed along to me, I assumed they were a punk band. I was positive in fact, that they were a hardcore punk band with stage antics in line with G.G. Allen’s. I pictured a front man who cut himself on stage and projectile vomited on the audience. It really sounded like my kind of band. When I actually received the record, it came with a vampire slaying kit. The kit was housed in what seemed like a red Crown Royal bag and came with a wooden stake, holy water, garlic, and a letter from the man himself, Van Morrison. That’s right, Mr. Astral Weeks was apparently a legit vampire hunter, and the only ones who knew it were the Bastards of Fate. Upon seeing this vampire slaying kit, I assumed the Bastards of Fate must be some shitty death metal band that takes itself very seriously, yet they remain a joke to everyone who hears them. Thirty seconds into the album, it became clear, The Bastards of Fate have the indie pop sensibility of The Shins and the out there feel of Fank Zappa’s Two Hundred Motels. The singer doesn’t look like the self-defacing punk I was anticipating. In reality, he looks very similar to Pulp’s Jarvis Cocker, with the black horned rimmed glasses and all.

The Bastards second album, Vampires are Real and Palpable (hint the vampire slaying kit), is there first for This Will Be Our Summer recordsVampires really is an album for record collectors and music snobs. If I threw this album on during a party, it would clear the room. This isn’t because it’s a bad album. On the contrary, it’s pretty damn good, but it’s fucking weird. Again, this isn’t a bad thing. In fact, it’s what makes the album worth your time. It takes effort and thought to get into this album. It’ll take you multiple listens to even start to appreciate Vampires, and you’ll hear something new every time you give it a listen. It’s an album you won’t be able to justify to all of your musically vanilla friends because the Bastards of Fate is some far out there Ben and Jerry’s combination that hasn’t even been dreamed up yet. I haven’t even addressed the experimental sounds that permeate the album. Sometimes it’s ambient noise that rears its head, sometimes it’s old cell phone ringtones, and sometimes it’s disembodied voices.

Vampires open with “Winter of Our Discontent,” an indie track that a torch singer would croon if they were working in a bar that catered to mental patients. From there the album quickly picks up into power pop on tracks like “Go No Further” and “Chromosome,” but it’s power pop filtered through the lens of Zappa. “Identity Theft” and “Ultimate Death” plays with the same deep foreboding backbone of early Interpol. It’s the Bastards bizarre take on these familiar sounds that make them an exceptional band. The Bastards walk a fine line between avant-garde and indie power pop. The Bastards are from left field, and you’ll want to leave the dugout and join them because while they’re edgy, there is something extremely comforting about the band. The Bastards are unknown but familiar. Frankly, if this is the direction of modern art-rock, then I’m on board. Even though it wasn’t the punk I expected, the Bastards are my kind of music.

The Vinyl

Vampires are Real and Palpable is available from the Bastards website: The cover is a fairly generic picture of a building. There is nothing telling about the cover, and there is nothing telling about the vinyl itself (it is standard black). It’s the perfect façade for a band like the Bastards. With the LP, you’ll get a digital download. If you’re lucky, you’ll get the vampire slaying kit, but I honestly can’t say that it will come with every LP. I don’t know if I would rely on it when a vampire breaks in at three in the morning, but it’ll be a definite conversation starter.


Bastards of Fate and Eureka California at Tuning Into The Obscure

Bastards of Fate – Vampires Are Real And Palpable – This Will Be Our Summer Records

Here is a solid and packed LP full of pure, gritty experimental rock fused with so much life that calling it “experimental rock” really doesn’t define it. Maybe I could get away with calling it indie-experimental… At any rate, the lyrics are put together well and create the glue that the foundation of this record is built on.  Add the strange, fun and sometimes noisy sound clips that bridge gaps between tracks and you have yourself one giant cohesive wall of sound.  Overall, this is a unique record, with an overhanging darkness that’s surprisingly upbeat, giving me this image of a vampire lounging with a lemon lollypop in his mouth.  The imagination and creativity here is equal to that wild sonic exploration of perhaps Yasushi Ishii but the Bastards Of Fate have a sound that is unmistakably original.Seriously, this is quite the LP.  (4.8 out of 5)

Eureka California – Crunch – Happy Happy Birthday To Me Records

The jangle pop punk indie gods return with their first LP since 2012’s “Big Cats Can Swim.” And after  having the privilege of reviewing that album when it came out, getting my paws on this LP after nearly two years of silence was awesome.  Here, the band ventures into a peppier sound that throws me headlong into a state of bliss.  Lyrically, like their last album, this is genius but a bit more on the playful side of things as far as writing goes.  There’s not a single dull moment on this LP.  I found myself loving each track, easily falling into the crazy and vibrant vibes.  Rock on!  (5 out of 5).


Bastards of Fate at Raised by Gypsies

While there are many qualities of The Bastards of Fate that make me think of both a punk band and a pop rock type of band, I am hesitant to classify this as pop punk really.   It has these undertones of a band like The B-52’s, yet it has some broader commercial appeal of something modern such as The Killers.

The songs have strings in them as well, which are just beautiful and just orchestrated as Yellowcard uses them for instance.    It could almost be a cross between Bowling for Soup (who really isn’t that bad once you get deeper into their catalog) and Modest Mouse, which needless to say sort of forms its own sound unique to Bastards of Fate.

Some of the more pure rock qualities within these melodic harmonies can remind me of Forgive Durden, but overall I thoroughly enjoy this record because though I have not heard their first one this definite has its own voice and it’s a good one.


Bastards of Fate Interview at Rebel Noise

Heya Doug, Camellia, Benji, Jason, and Doug #2!  Before I grill you with hard-hitting, hot topic, button-pushing questions, could you please introduce yourselves and comment on the differences between the two Dougs?

Doug Cheatwood. I’m Doug. I’m medium sized and the singer. As opposed to tall Doug, who plays drums and sampler.

Doug Shelor: He stands in the front. I sit in the back.

Camellia Delk: I’m Camellia, I play synth teeths. Doug Cheatwood runs around in the front like a looney tune w/ a utility light while Doug Shelor is stationary in the back and flails his arms around lots, like a mad man in distress. Same. Yet. Different.

Jason Wellz: I’m Jason. I’m in charge of bass and pure moods.

Benji Pugh: I’m Benji (Guitar) and I never move. Except when things go
horribly awry.

Camellia: Like… when you get exorcised or get pied in the face?


Bastards of Fate Video Debut and Review at Gold Flake Paint

Let’s be perfectly honest: I’ve been sitting on this one for a while. Too long a while. But then, when brilliance really strikes you – and I mean SHEER brilliance, with all the luminosity and force of a supernova just a light-year away – well, words are harder to form, see.

Who are the Bastards of Fate? Gremlins. Flutes. Flurries of quirky sounds (the old ringtone intro on ‘Chromosome‘ cracks me up EVERY TIME) and the blackest stew of beastly beat imaginable. A carnival long abandoned and left to the elements. Try sneaking on the dusty grounds of ‘One True Love‘ at nightfall and you’re likely to be eaten by a grue.

Simple labels fall short – you’ll have to compound hybrid after hybrid until, after toiling 12 hours without rest (but plenty of caffeine), you’ll have a new word to present the press. But what? What captures both the host train rattle of ’Identity Theft‘, or the dancehall ravaging ‘Own It‘, or the haunted skiffle fanfare (with its doorbell breakdown) of ‘Go No Further‘?

Oh, yes, The Bastards of Fate have precedents, but not the typical indie lineage. The baroque prog circus of Cardiacs comes to mind. And the whole Urgh! A Music War documentary, with its surreal new wave visions of the future, could be a likely launching pad, from the wired Wall of Voodoo to endearingly ridiculous (hyper-80s, I always thought) Oingo Boingo. But then where does ‘Credit‘ stand in that continuum, a dense swirling whirlpool of cyanide that sucks you deeper and deeper into its warbly depths until you’re down in the inky center –

You act like I starve you / Like I starve you / and I do

Now you’re in the thick of the labyrinth. I’m afraid we lost the compass three songs ago. An axe-wielding troll awaits somewhere in these halls. And what’s that crumbling sound behind us…? Oh snap. Run! RUN! At the closing track, ‘Optometrist‘, you’ll fly madly through the hall of mirrors, fleeing the vague shadows creeping behind you, but NO USE – phantoms will laugh in your face, from every angle, until…!

Intrigued? You better be. Besides, as all us dungeon-crawlers know, the richest treasures lie hidden by the trickiest puzzles. And this one’s a doozy. So grab your lantern. We’re going down.



Bastards of Fate at Magnet

The Bastards Of Fate are unabashedly quirky and unquestionably inventive, and they hail from Roanoke, Va. Their latest record, Vampires Are Real And Palpable(This Will Be Our Summer), walks the line between visionary and downright freaky. It’s a beautiful cacophony.