Formed from the ashes of Sybreed by former bass player Ales Campanelli, The Erkonauts play an experimental form of groove metal that mixes funk, punk, and a little progressive rock. The band’s debut, I Did Something Bad, is easily one of the most original records I’ve heard in quite some time.
Goofy humor meets serious musicianship on I Did Something Bad; think Primus, or Devin Townshend Project. Ales is a gifted bass player, which is made immediately apparent on opening track “The Great Ass Poopery” (yes, it’s not the most sophisticated humor). A Les Claypool-styled slap-bass starts things off, but when the rest of the band kicks in the music is somewhere between punk and prog. The rest of the band are no slouches on their instruments, with some precision drumming and jaw-dropping guitar pyrotechnics. Imagine if Primus started incorporating thrash into their sound, and you’d get an idea of what to expect.
The tones, mood, and textures change pretty often throughout the album, but everything is held together by a solid production, and superb musicianship. “Dominium Mundi” is a particular favorite track, having a slightly more serious feel, with some groovy, heavy riffs, and shouted vocals that still manage to keep some melody. The Erkonauts are a truly unique band, and any metalhead with a taste for bands that think outside the box should definitely pay attention. If you like Voivod, Primus, or anything Devin Townsend has done post-Strapping Young Lad, give I Did Something Bad a spin.