KinkZoid – The Book of Pages (Mook Records, 2007)
by Brad Glanden
Not to be confused with Pink Floyd, Chicago’s KinkZoid comprises former members of avant rock trio The Blitzoids, whose oeuvre–recently reissued on Ad Hoc Records (read my review at All About Jazz)–still sounds fresh today. Blitzoid converts with an interest in the band members’ current activities will be pleased to learn that The Book of Pages is even more deranged than the Blitzoids’ LPs, while demonstrating considerable musical growth and even darker humor.
This is not to suggest that KinkZoid’s self-released sophomore release can’t be enjoyed by newcomers; it’s an altogether different beast.The first track, “Warren Jeffs Explains”, immediately sets the album’s tone with a musical setting of notorious FLDS president Jeffs’ interpretation of rock ‘n’ roll’s origins. KinkZoid frequently uses mutated samples from nationalistic speeches, including a syntactic faux pas or two from everyone’s favorite current president, George W. Bush. These are sometimes laid over music with a Middle Eastern flavor, outlining a recurrent theme of The Book of Pages–namely, the deadly dangers inherent in fundamentalist readings of a religious text.Heavily treated vocals render the lyrics difficult to decipher; now and again, a stray phrase–“My telltale heart wants to poke you in the eye” from “Too Lazy to Kill”, for example–reaffirms KinkZoid’s predilection for twisted narratives. “I Was Walking” is a lyrical Moebius strip, somewhat like a MAD Magazine cover showing Alfred E. Neuman reading a MAD Magazine with a cover of Alfred E. Neuman reading MAD Magazine, ad infinitum. “They’re Burning”, meanwhile, seems to be a rant of some kind against McDonald’s and Starbucks.The Book of Pages is outsider music par excellence, a kaleidoscope of pitch-black humor, exotic sounds, and kooky audio ephemera.
Those who are partial to sound collage should give this one a listen.
Band pokes fun at polygamist ‘singer’
Warren Jeffs Explains by KinkZoid not exactly a hit
By Brian Passey
ST. GEORGE, Utah � Warren Jeffs has been a principal, a prophet, a fugitive and a prisoner. Now the jailed leader of the polygamous Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints could become a pop-culture icon of sorts.
Jeffs is in jail awaiting trial in St. George on charges of rape as an accomplice. The charges stem from allegations that he forced a 14-year-old girl to marry her 19-year-old cousin.
While Jeffs has never been a celebrity, he has been notorious. He was on the FBI’s Ten Most Wanted Fugitives list for months before police caught up with him in August at a traffic stop outside Las Vegas.
Meanwhile, a Chicago-based experimental band has mocked one of Jeffs’ sermons by putting it to music, and his image has shown up on men’s boxers and women’s unmentionables. To date, nobody is close to getting rich.
The music group, KinkZoid, heard a clip of a sermon in which Jeffs warned students at the private Alta Academy in Salt Lake City about the evils of listening to rock ‘n’ roll because of its links to black culture.
“We were pretty much appalled by what he was saying, which is why we wanted to use it,” said Steve DeChiara of KinkZoid. “I was hesitant … at first. I didn’t want people to think we were racist.”
During the 1990s, Jeffs worked as principal at the academy, which was operated by the fundamentalist church, the sect he would later lead as its prophet. Jeffs warned his young audience to stay away from this music because it will “rot the soul,” lead them to immorality and cause them to forget God.
When DeChiara and bandmate Greg Chapman heard the clip, they knew it would fit in perfectly with one of KinkZoid’s sound collages.
DeChiara and Chapman said that Jeffs proclaimed in the sermon that rock music is evil, having the “spirit of the black race,” so they decided it would be ironic to write a blues riff to back up Jeffs’ “lead vocals.”
“It was just really natural, almost too natural,” DeChiara said. “It was scary.”
KinkZoid released the single, called Warren Jeffs Explains, early this year and followed it with a full-length album in March.
Warren Jeffs Explains hasn’t exactly matched the popularity of HBO’s polygamy series Big Love. Following a story in Salt Lake City’s Deseret News, KinkZoid sold 13 99-cent downloads and sold about eight more following some more regional coverage. Although download and CD sales are minuscule, DeChiara said, many more have listened to the sound clips online.
The band also sells T-shirts featuring the CD single’s cover art. It depicts an Osmonds album cover with Jeffs’ head on the bodies of the Utah-born siblings, who are famous members of the mainstream Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, which abandoned the practice of polygamy in 1890. Jeffs is not affiliated with the mainstream Mormon faith.