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Experimental Dental School - Jane Doe Loves Me

Released on Cochon Records, 4/1/2008

Experimental Dental School lives up to its peculiar name. The trio certainly does experiment with all sorts of noise, sometimes seeming more interested in a thud and bang than a melody. In their latest album, Jane Doe Loves Me, the pop group explores sounds that are reminiscent
of everything from an old school Nintendo game to a Fellini film.

One thing Experimental Dental School is not lacking is an unbridled whirlwind of creativity and a belief that anything can be possible when making an album. The group hails from Oakland, California where they use eclectic instruments backed up with a guitar, organ and drum, to create their bizarre and unique art rock. Ryan Brundage's beats underline Shoko Horikawa's tornado riffs and Jesse Hall's guitar mayhem. The band might strike a chord with Devo or Deerhoof fans looking for a new and perhaps more quirky fix. In fact, Greg Saunier of Deerhoof even helped the Experimental Dental School kids mix Jane Doe Loves Me.

Tongue-tied Sawney Bean melodies seem to be a hallmark of Jane Doe Loves Me, where the title track hits the listener with a shock like a car accident. A schizophrenic compilation ensues with moody and angst-ridden songs like "Shoko Can" and "Lords Lap" where anxious ticks and jarring guitar riffs assail the listener. But there are a few gems in the chaos of this relentless album, where a few songs do disembark from clangs and robot sounds and seek out a straightforward acoustic melody instead.

"Uh Huh-Na Uh" is a charming harmony that gives the listener a break from the experimental throbbing. The whimsical "Back Porch Floating" is also a display of a more harmonious moment in an otherwise clattered album. The bass and organ give structure to "Plant Plenty," as "Zeroeth Birthday" has a touch of jazz to it.

If anything Dental School knows variety and although they might have a signature experimental sound they also have enough flexibility to reach out to a surprisingly broad audience. Jane Doe Loves Me is a lesson in variety. For some it might be that album where only one or two songs will ever make it to a playlist, but at the same time it's an album so bursting with eclectic mixtures that every listen will uncover a new surprising sound.

Rating: 2 out of 5 stars