Review: Dr. Colossus – The Dank 9

  • Dr. Colossus
  • The Dank
  • Stoner rock/doom
  • VIC, Australia
  • 2017
  • 9/10

Bandcamp – Facebook

I’m glad that after a year of this I’m still getting super excited by new discoveries, this year has been filled with conceptual albums and high art themes. Lovecraft, mental illness and Dark Souls. Now for something entirely different tasting, Simpson metal presented with the levity of something serious and from Australia of all places. These guys are committed to the image with full Stonecutters costume for live shows and promotional shots. Paired with a dark and groovy stoner doom/hard rock sound, it feels complete and fleshed out – not gimmicky. They have newer stuff out in 2019 as well.

The artwork on the cover (a piece by Tim Doyle) reflects the darker side with a very gritty take on Springfield and the focus being on Moe’s Tavern, a place of despair of all kinds. Moe alone is an incredibly dark figure in the lore of the show. The dedication to obtaining work by an established artist is a stroke of effort that I admire, considering the financial risk involved for anyone wanting to start a band in Australia. It’s often overlooked out of necessity. Doyle’s work here ties it all together nicely and I get a sense that both the band and the artist were on the same level.

The sound its self isn’t anything mind-bending but it’s an addictive rock laden romp that never irritates or offends. It’s as comfortable as spending a rainy Sunday lounging around watching Simpsons reruns. I’d call it stoner rock with stoner doom sensibilities, the fans will enjoy this across the red eyed cartoon watching genres with wild disregard for the sub-genre nuances. It’s fuzzy and it’s just easier that way.

The tracks each cover a different character or episode, so I’ll list them here to get a sense of the specific stories being told and because I’m a compulsive nerd. This record is conceptually pure across all facets. The opening track, Thrillho focuses on Millhouse, another tragic character easily twisted into something darker within these musical stories. Literally the only assembly required is laying out all of his major plots and history at once.

Future Bart and It’s Still Good focus on two minor characters, Bang Bang Bart from the future episode and the flying pig that catches Mr Burns by surprise. I love this because it shows their dedication to the minor details of the source materials to find a story they want to tell in their own medium. The way they consistently fit so many references from the show into each song mystifies me.

Dr Colossus is about the character who also serves as the bands namesake, they’ve layed out a nice kind of origin story that feels akin to Black Sabbath‘s Iron Man. The ending lyrics:

“I lost my wife 
to a doll with gender roll issues
she taught me right
she told me one thing
she said…

“Colossus, you are free to go
But stay away from Death Mountain””

It has this emotional resonance to the story and the album generally summons a lot of emotion which is impressive for what many would consider a joke band. It’s similar to The Protomen in this way, who took Megaman and crafted these really theatrical and meaningful stories from the lore.

The_Abominable_Dr._Colossus

Excellent is a track about Smithers, as you can guess from the track title being Mr Burn’s catch phrase. The lyrics paint a more elaborate perspective than we ever directly get from the show, this adaption of the story into lyrics is handled competently as we can see here in their entirety:

“You are quite good at turning me on
You are excellent
My heart only Burns for one
You are excellent

And I will love you till the end

Fate left me serving your every cell
A nuclear accident
Dreamed of you flying over my bed
You are excellent

And I will love you till the end
My pointy nosed, four fingered friend

You and me and uranium”

Happy_birthday_Smithers

Holy Driver is a fitting tribute to both Otto and Dio simultaneously. “My name is Otto and I like to get blotto”. Lemonade is about Bart and the divide between Shelbyville and Springfield. A classic episode also burned into my memory. Finally we have Dr. Tongue, which is the most baffling one here as it’s such a minor character I barely remembered it. It’s about the babysitter which Bart is into but is cuckolded by school bully Jimbo Jones who comes by on his scooter and declares “Dr Tongue has arrived”. Then later declares “my shirt is chaffing me” before taking it off. I’m now glad that something has immortalized this canon character further.

download (9)

The theme of the Simpsons is interesting to me because I think it’s symptomatic of Australia’s cultural cringe, wherein we find out identity in cultures from other countries. The Dank is clearly designed for a very specific person and I can call myself fortunate for being that specific person. Stoners brought up on metal and the Simpsons can finally now have the resolution they deserve and there’s something new for Otto to listen to. Musically alone I might have taken a bit more away but the intent and presentation really help to elevate it.

A solid 9 for me.

 

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