New Orleans organist Quintron is best known for his Grammy award nomination in 2012 for writing ‘Chatterbox’. His new release ‘Do the Raid’, which also features Miss Pussycat, is reminiscent of the duo’s past dance themed, garage-punk, shout style collaborations.
Otherwise, the rest of Quintron’s new LP Spellcaster II (Death in Space) is nothing like his past work and abandons shouting for more droning, atmospheric tunes.
Quintron has been making noise with Miss Pussycat in New Orleans, Louisiana for fifteen years. Spellcaster II’s title follows Quintron’s very first LP from 1997 Amazing Spellcaster. These titles refer to the Spellcaster Lodge, the social club where Quintron and Miss Pussycat perform regularly.
The duo also released full length album Sucre du Sauvage in 2011 and now, after three years of random singles, they release their new LP this October. Quintron and Miss Pussycat then will be touring America in November with their inflatable puppet show. Bizarre stuff!
Quintron also set up a 24/7 streaming website earlier this year. Weatherfortheblind.org broadcasts an instrument that he invented called the weather warlock, which is basically an analogue synth controlled by the weather.
Having outlined the weird and wonderful ways of Quintron and Miss Pussycat, readers are now prepared for a review of their new LP.
The introduction to Spellcaster II (Death in Space) sounds like a bad backing track of a children’s television show. It features very simple tunes, later adding in minor notes and darker drones.
The second track ‘Death in Space’ includes heavier guitar noises and drones. Didgeridoo-like sounds mix with spaceship noises. This odd combination is reminiscent of music from old video games. There are no lyrics and overall it’s quite simple, yet primitive, echoing and strange.
The next track ‘Carnival’ is completely different and its cheesy Latino feel somehow makes it a highlight of the LP. The tempo speeds up and this song falls into the genre of elevator or lounge music.
Another highlight of the LP is ‘Steve’ which explodes with energy in comparison with other tracks and is reminiscent of 1950s music. We also get to hear Quintron’s smooth voice, which is rare on this album. But just as this song starts getting good good, it ends. This was an irritating feature of a few songs on the LP.
Like ‘Death in Space’, the other tracks were of a stranger variety. ‘Mirza’s Marsh’ features much beeping, buzzing, and guitar twanging. The LP’s unusual sound is largely due to the instruments used by Quintron’s one-man band, which uses a homemade organ and drum buddy, a lap steel guitar, a vibraphone and his weather warlock invention. It is no surprise that some of the tracks are going to feature on the soundtrack of a short sci-fi film.
Even though it reminds me of music from the past (old video games, movie soundtracks and 1950s lounge music), Quintron’s new LP, like past ones, is very experimental. Mostly it’s like listening to someone jamming, rather than a finished album. And at times it recalled the episode of Friends in which Ross resurrects his old keyboard; the Phoebes of this world will likely love it.
I personally am not a fan of this LP, but admit many of the songs would feature well on soundtracks. I liked the two 1950s style tracks and think this LP could be a step toward greater things, if only Quintron wouldn’t stop just as a song gets going.
If you like Quintron and Miss Pussycat’s past material, you will probably enjoy this. Spellcaster II (Death in Space) will be released by the excellently named Pizza Burglar Records on October 28.