Letters to Voltron, Robot Journey

Letters to Voltron, Robot Journey

I’ve been to a couple of Letters to Voltron shows. They start out with front man John Wayne Comunale asking in a loud demonstrative manner to the raucous and sweating peanut gallery before him if they are indeed ready to fornicate. I’m paraphrasing, of course.

Then John Wayne, Robby C, and Marty “Sauce” Eck launch into a frenetic musical canopy filled with songs about space traveling robots, death, masturbation, sex — and I’m deathly afraid that one of their songs, “Backdoor Beauty,” is about an ex-girlfriend who might have happened to be a horse. They are a combination of rock, punk, humor, and sex, stripped-down with a loose prog math-rock feel. And did I mention they love to sing about sex?

Letters to Voltron’s latest album Robot Journey opens with a heavy classic-guitar riff, reminiscent of Dio’s “Holy Diver,” then with a heavy smattering of electronic deviltry, devolves into the spastic feel of a metal Talking Heads or fellow prog-rockers Opposite Day. The title track stays completely unpredictable, upbeat, and playful, setting the stage for the rest of the album.

“Planet of the Dicks” sounds like Ewoks having a wedding procession on the Death Star — all dark synths over a brisk percussion march. If you notice by now that these guys don’t have time for a click track, auto-tune or reverb, that’s because they are way too hardcore for that Justin Beiber bullshit.

My favorite songs on the album are “Passage of the Jazzbo,” “Backdoor Beauty,” and “Let Me Smell You When I am Angry.” I don’t know what a Jazzbo is. I tend to think it’s one of those Billy Banks workout videos, but the weird thing is when the chorus comes in, where they make reference to masturbation, I felt oddly compelled to touch myself. I also liked how of all the madness of listening to the wildest album lyrically I’ve probably heard in a long time, they bust out this danceable jazz-groove rock piece at the end with “Electric Feather.”

If it was by music alone, I would think that these boys are certifiably insane, but I’ve met them, and they are stand-up guys, respectable members of society and possible Wal-mart cops. This album is the perfect complement to varying degrees of inebriation.

(Feature photo by Nick Poncio.)

[Letters to Voltron is playing 8/27/11 at Late Nite Pie.]
(Omega Prophet Music -- http://omegaprophetmusic.com/; Letters to Voltron -- http://www.letterstovoltron.com; Letters to Voltron (Facebook) http://www.facebook.com/letterstovoltron)

Review by . Review posted Thursday, August 18th, 2011. Filed under Features, Reviews.

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2 Responses to “Letters to Voltron, Robot Journey

  1. Nasty NickPee on August 25th, 2011 at 3:58 am

    If you want keep up with their weekly exploits, & try to decipher for yourself the madness that drives their sticky paddy-wagon, check out a podcast called “Never Buy A Stripper A Drink”. John Wayne, Robby C, & Sometimes Marty “Sauce” (along with a gallery of other recurring nut-cases) hammer out random topic discussions ranging from the end of the world, unusual fetishes, social injustices, drug policy, & sometimes sexual misadventures with non-blooded species. Every episode breaks the ice with go-around where each host &/or guest shares a recent mishap (declared a “sack twist”) or recent successes (called a “finger in the asshole”). Give it a listen (for free!) weekly for an hour & a half of sinfully disturbing comedy & music. Listen or download @ http://www.neverbuyastripperadrink.com/ or on iTunes @ http://itunes.apple.com/us/podcast/never-buy-a-stripper-a-drink/id302885976

  2. SPACE CITY ROCK » Yr. Weekend, Pt. 2: IDentity + DiverseWorks + Folk Family Revival + The Julys + Prairie Cadets + More on December 13th, 2011 at 9:42 am

    […] A couple of others I can’t forget, either, like the show over at The Big Top (between The Continental Club & The Mink) with very cool guys Prairie Cadets and promising newcomers Second Lovers, as well as Howler, who I’m afraid I’m not real familiar with. And last but not least, weirdballs Letters to Voltron are up at Late Nite Pie — check out a review of LtV’s new album Robot Journey over here. […]

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