Heavily inspired by iconic super-villains from the Marvel and DC school of fame, The Fangs Of The Dodo are five otherworldly and downright wacky individuals hailing from Bath and collectively producing some fairly dark, gothic, art-rock that will delight fans of My Chemical Romance, Creeper and Evanescence. The principal characters in this stage-show are Count Dodo (vocals, bass), Cinder (lead vocals, keyboards), The Prisoner (guitar, backing vocals), The Guardsman (guitar, backing vocals) and Hazard (drums, backing vocals)
“The Curtained Sleep” is the band’s second EP, released on 3 April and containing another five sinister and chilling tracks, broad in stature and full of forceful story-telling, that builds on their 2018 debut EP “Hopiates”. To explain further, that was a quite audacious, clever and casually violent EP that managed to combine the best of a variety of genres, from folk through pop, art-rock to death metal, with a scale of ambition rarely seen since some of the wackier days of the 70’s. The new EP has more than a hint of Queens of The Stone Age, or the Sensational Alex Harvey Band, but for me the closest parallels are drawn with a wonderful old art-rock band from Newcastle called Punishment Of Luxury.
You get the flavour – a musical circus act with clowns and villains cavorting around a nightmarish fairground, they have to be seen live or at least on video to get the full demented force of the characters portrayed. Some of the tunes are almost music-hall in construction, you could imagine them being introduced as episodes from the 1980’s US tv series “Tales from the Darkside”!
Opening with the stark and infectious rallying call of ‘The Crime Of The Century‘, ‘The Curtained Sleep’ pulls you into a sad, demented tale of doom and desolation, designed for you to empathise with the characters, led by the villainous and vampiric vocalist Count Dodo. ‘Safe’ finds him struggling within the clutches of anxiety and agoraphobia, before ‘Hung by a Thread’ expounds an almost light-hearted reflection on the inner calm that (hopefully) steers you through life’s turbulence, with Cinder taking lead vocals on this. Next up, ‘Home’ describes his reluctant acceptance of being cursed to follow eternal life before ‘The Cause’ finds him eventually driven mad by his isolation from the world in a Shakespearian twist. Overall, it’s Phantom of The Opera meets The Joker!
The Fangs Of The Dodo stay faithful to the exaggerated storylines of much-loved comic book series such Batman, X-Men and Sin City, through both their lyrical content and striking visual style. In the lead-up to the EP’s release date, the band have made the most of their strong imagery to promote their wide-screen tale in much the same way as a movie trailer, so the EP will also be accompanied with a limited release of comic books, featuring The Fangs Of The Dodo in their rightful place – the comic book panels below!
Although not on this EP, there is a great earlier track of theirs, ‘Please Don’t Feed The Vultures’ which give another insight into their visually dark, twisted world – see below, (even if it looks like bright sunshine!)
So, if you remember some of the weirder extremes of art-rock from the past, sit back and prepare to be entertained!