Ok, so before I begin, This album as been released on Alternative Tentacles. “Ok so?” You may ask. The reason I make this statement is because Alternative Tentacles is a independent label owned by punk rock star Jello Biafra, known from the Dead Kennedys, which also put out said bands records. Most punk bands are on this label, with the fast chords and shouting about the government… what you would expect from a indie punk label.
Except for this album titled Burn the Navigator by a group called Itchy-O, who recently signed to Alternative Tentacles.
They are a marching band. And they’re good.
A 32 piece marching band based out of Denver, with tenors, crashing symbols, dancers, (and most importantly) drummers. Itchy-O‘s drum focused percussion puts Nick Cannon and his fellow college drum line to shame (ha). The thing is, there is an industrial mix to it. With guitar and bass added along with electronic keyboards. And no, this would not fit to be a Nine Inch Nail marching band.
There’s chaos to it. Which is why Itchy-O fits perfectly with the Alternative Tentacles family.
“Orange Devil” is the first track off the album, the start of the chaos. As you hear a almost like war siren going off with a laser gun noise shooting into the air..if that makes sense. It breaks into the band playing like what you would expect a marching band to sound like, but with effects going off and fireworks shooting here and there. Yeah, it’s different.
The next song, the title track “Burn the Navigator” adds nice guitar riffs with the band, nothing heavy. Just perfect enough to flow with the band as they keep a fast beat, like dancing around a fire with the lost boys from Neverland. Or something of that nature… the theme continues with the next song “Jaywalker”. With just a bit more chaos to it.
Then, the slow song, “Nefratata” which has a 80’s spooky effect to it. Which is a nice little break from all the noise until it all kicks back in for the rest of the album (9 songs total).
There really is nothing like this that I have ever heard. Luckily for me, I don’t play in a marching band anymore. Because if I heard this album, I would of gave up since I could never be as good as the musicians in Itchy-O.
“Burn the Navigator” was released September 16th, 2014 and is their debut on Alternative Tentacles. If your into marching bands or like something different to listen to while you work out/drive/whatever, then this album will grow on you. Simply because it’s… so weird it’s good.
I don’t want to know how Jello even found these guys, He just made a great choice to mix up the music on the label. As for me, I grew up going to marching band competitions so this was a real treat.
It may not be punk, but who said you needed a voice to make a statement? It’s hyper. It can be fast. It means something.
Itchy- O is worth checking out. Their website is a little glitchy but check em out on alternativetentacles.com and buy me a ticket so I can see them live (please!).