The Callous Daoboys, Celebrity Therapist (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Atlanta noise rock band The Callous Daoboys launch their third album into the zeitgeist, Celebrity Therapist.

The Callous Daoboys create music that is rather hard to define, despite the labels of metalcore and mathcore often applied to their output. It is unpredictable one song to the next, and also one bar to the next in any given song. There are sometimes long melodic passages – entire songs, even – and along the way there is prominent disruption. They have released two previous full-length albums so far, Animal Tetris (2017) and Die on Mars (2019), plus an EP right before the inaugural debut. The musicians are Carson Pace (vocals), Maddie Caffrey (guitar), Dan Hodsdon (guitar), Jack Buckalew (bass), Amber Christman (violin), and Sam Williamson (drums).

“Violent Astrology” wakes you up and directs your attention to what is about to happen. Noise, chaos, screaming, music. It might not seem like it at first, but there is a lot here that owes a debt to Zappa, and that is where the biggest appeal lies for me. There is a great deal of unexpectedness throughout, not the least of which is the melodic passage that coalesces from the midst of the violent careening. You have some thinking to do if you want to gather your thoughts on this song, or any of the others in the set.

Reviewing this music is a rather fruitless endeavor, in the end. What shall I do? Try to describe the weirdness? My mission here is merely to make you aware of the album’s existence. Across the eight tracks on the album, there are a multitude of samples and grabs, arranged in an aggressively artful way among the vocals and instrumentations. The work is frenzied and appears on the surface to be disordered, but it isn’t. I am not sure it makes much sense to look for patterns, exactly, but there certainly is an extraordinary amount of expression going on. If you like this sort of sound in the first place, and/or you are up for a challenge, then go ahead and press play.

Celebrity Therapist is out on September 2nd through MNRK Heavy, in cooperation with Modern Static Records.




MNRK Heavy,

Modern Static Records,

© Wayne Edwards

The Callous Daoboys, Celebrity Therapist (MNRK Heavy 2022)

Mastodon, Hushed and Grim (Reprise Records 2021)

Progressive metal band Mastodon cap a big year with a new full-length album, Hushed and Grim.

Since 2000, the band has been Troy Sanders (bass and vocals), Brann Dailor (drums and vocals), Brent Hinds (guitar and vocals), and Bill Kelliher (guitar and vocals). I remember exactly when I started listening to Mastodon. I did not hear their first long-player, Remission, when it came out in 2002, but I did hear Leviathan two years later. I liked, I recall, but for some reason it didn’t land with me the first time the way it ultimately would. Time passed and then I heard Crack The Skye (2009) – there was no turning back from that. I immediately went back through the entire catalogue and since have waited less-than-patiently for every new release. Mastodon is one of my absolute favorite metal bands.

In 2021, Mastodon has been showing up more regularly than most bands at festivals, sometimes stepping in at the last minute to replace bands that were sidelined by covid-19, as they did at Psycho Las Vegas, and in a headline spot, too. I have seen them several times live this year and always to my amazement. Each and every performance is masterful.

The new album is another exceptional set the band has added to their already galactic catalogue. Early singles were “Pushing the Tides” and “Teardrinker,” both of which have more than a million spins on Spotify by now. The more recently released “Sickle and Peace” already has half a million plays. Their fans are legion.

Mastodon’s music has evolved over the years, and now it in the complex and leans toward the progressive end of the metal spectrum. It has a haunting quality, and hypnotizing nature that draws you quickly in and holds you as the enchantment unfolds. The new album is almost an hour and a half long and it seems exactly right in its construction. Not extended or stretched; just precisely as it should be.

I am not going to pick favorites because every song has its necessary place, from the reflective “Skeleton of Splendor” to the forceful “Pain with an Anchor” to the overwhelming closer “Gigantium.” I will say this album goes toward the top of the list of the work the band has released. I found it to be captivating. Highly recommended.

Hushed and Grim is out now on all streaming platforms and in the expected physicals. Look to the links below.

Band photo by Wayne Edwards at Blue Ridge Rock Festival 2021.





Mastodon, Hushed and Grim (Reprise Records 2021)