“Thousands of years ago, Chickeater Joe the Banana-Head, (he’s one of your lower-ranking demigods), “Chickeater Joe had invented the Diddley Bow to save rock’n’roll, but he couldn’t find anybody to play it and left planet Earth to explore the greatness of the universe. On the 21st of December 2012 he finally came back, only to discover the damage the human race had done to themselves and their planet. Pissed off, Joe searched the globe for musicians, to spread his word of enlightenment through the mass manipulating medium of pop music. But then he discovered an awful truth; ALL the famous musicians also worship another god of humanity, the so-called “Money“.
Somewhere in the backwoods of Austria, after a long journey around the devastated planet, he finally crossed the path of three young musicians who had just formed a band called „Fairtrade Floyd“, and Chickeater Joe liked their music, but most important he liked their attitude. So he gave them the ancient instrument, and sent them out to save mankind from the mess they are in.”
Quite the backstory for something that had almost slipped through the cracks. After reading this and knowing a diddley-bow is a usually homemade stringed instrument with typically one to three strings, strung over a cigar box or some such size piece of material and a guitar pickup mounted to electrify. I was indeed intrigued… 10 items and 27 minutes… engage.
From the very first 10 seconds of ‘Outbreak’, the pace is set and you’re already on your way feeling the need to get the fuck up and MOVE. “Listen up, this is how the story ends. An economic re-set; think again.” and if you are breathing, you are standing while this insane hook drags you along as the bass and drumline push you back and forth with equal force. The last minute took me back to MINISTRY of the 90’s with the inserted oddities and the fury of this track never falters until the very last note. Not metal, but heavy as shit and I am impressed at how big that one string has just appeared. ‘How & Where’ show a more pop-type structure laden with dark humor and demonstrate a virtuosity of style hey ban handle with each, not losing the edge they run along.
‘Peace Like Gandhi’ has a more ‘spaghetti-western’ twangy guitar tone but still a complex arrangement, still keeping that dark-side in this tlae asking what else can they do and they remind that they are “Back to save mankind” as the aforementioned legend proclaims’ Great solo to close out the last portion of that leads right into the knock of an engine coming to life in ‘Engine 56’ with a nice even driving-pace SET for driving, ride cymbal fading as the engine drops off and next thing you hear is the sudden appearance of a full string acoustic and could those be maracas in ‘Three Saints Bay’? “Come close to me, watching the scenery” the seeming chorus of what could be direct from some island beach.
‘Great Panic’ has a haunting bass intro before the almost ghostly harmonics ring and the gruff voice beckons you to “Barricade your windows” and the thickness of that ultra-distorted hyper modulated guitar screams to the front of this tale of never giving up fighting, even as the news voices fade back and forth as they do in our everyday living giving credence to this outing. ‘Dunkirk’ hits immediately with am ugly/thick wall of strings that permeate from all sides, ringing off of each other until the melody snaps your neck with the singularity of the body of Fairtrade Floyd, our seeming warrior in this quest to save mankind from itself. The speed and complexity makes this the standout track for me. The use of such minimalism and making it so just HUGE sounding is incredible and I did not want this track in particular to stop. In a live format, this could go on for 20 minutes as a jam song and would not be enough as the frenetic ending they use suggests… they just weren’t DONE yet.
And speaking of live, we are given the treat of a LIVE version of the second single release ‘In Money We Trust’ and the sound is just as ‘big’ as the rest of this album.
If you have not found this one on your own, get it and crank it up and support them if they come anywhere near you!!