The fifth offering from Mike Patton and Co. pays homage to both the month of April and the soundtracks from the golden era of Warner Bros. cartoons. It sounds simple but when executed, it's Looney Tunes gone wild. A spastic dirge of truncated speed metal and horrifying bloops, bloinks and sonic swells stumble over each other in a tangled mess of cartoon terror.
None of the 30 songs on the disc have titles, but they're marked to correspond with days on the calendar. Each number unfolds with fugue-like blasts of tension weaving in and out of bliss and panic.
Emotionally speaking, the music summons the emotions from the point of view of the girl cat being sadistically stalked by Pepe le Pew; the Roadrunner hauling ass across the desert as Wile E. Coyote's ravenous jaws snap only inches from his tail feathers; or Bugs Bunny dodging a bloodthirsty hunter bellowing, "kill da wabbit." The outcome for all of them is not good.
As everything comes crashing down, the wascally wabbit cuts through the commotion with a dose of reality asking, "What did you expect from an opera, a happy ending?" Duh!
- Chad RadfordFantômas plays the 40 Watt Club in Athens on Thurs., April 7. 9 p.m. $20.
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