TWO TON BOA
KILL ROCK STARS
Morgen Dye & Sherry Fraser
September 20, 2006
Howdy to all my pals in the music video community, it’s Andy Gesner and the staff from HIP Video Promo back once again with another compelling band you absolutely need to know about! We are super thrilled to be working with Kill Rock Stars to bring you the stunning new clip from Two Ton Boa. We all know thousands of guitar bands that rock. But how many groups can you name that absolutely rock without using any six-strings? Sherry Fraser’s intriguing combo Two Ton Boa is notable for many reasons, but the band’s most immediately noticeable characteristic is its idiosyncratic lineup: two electric basses, no electric guitars. Fraser’s collaborators round out these arrangements with synth, piano, drums, and percussion, and stomp through these art-rock songs with such vigor that you might not even realize that there’s nary a conventional six-string onParasiticide.
The album is something of a welcome return for the Olympia, Washington quartet: their last proper full length, the critically-lauded Two Ton Boa, was released by Kill Rock Stars six years ago. Ann Powers of the New York Times called that album one of the most unjustly-neglected of 2000, and the band’s tour with L7 and Blonde Redhead won it a devoted nationwide cult following. Since then, Fraser has refined and sharpened her twin-bass alchemy, fuzzing and thickening the sound, and adding glockenspiel and spooky chord organ to her aural nightmares. Classically-trained and as comfortable on the French horn, oboe, and recorder as she is on her bass guitar, Sherry Fraser approaches her songs the way an architect might – structuring them from the foundation up, and adding gargoyles and other ornate hauntings to the eaves.
Produced by Paper Chase frontman John Congleton, Parasiticide is a full realization of the potential shown on Two Ton Boa. Angular, arty pop songs alternate with pieces that feel austere and atmospheric, and others that are relentlessly pounding and even legitimately scary. Fraser’s vocals have often been compared to those of P.J. Harvey and Beth Gibbons, but here she’s developed an arsenal of evocative mannerisms and techniques that is wholly her own. “Cash Machine”, the lead single, begins with a stuttering bass riff and a slammed snare before Fraser guides the song into dark and dream-haunted territory. She sings of the cruel lure of materialism and the American promise gone wrong, and her voice is husky with lived experience.
Fraser also had a hand in the direction of the “Cash Machine” clip – and she’s unquestionably its star. Wearing a black dress with a pink bow and bright red lipstick, the slim and striking frontwoman confronts the camera, punctuating her words with gestures of disgust, contempt, amusement, and bewilderment. But there’s something near-acrobatic about her performance: no matter how dismissively she acts, her poise never shatters. Likewise, the band behind her is cool, well-balanced, professional; seemingly in control even when the track gets hectic.
Filmmaker Morgen Dye and animator Nathan Carson place Two Ton Boa in a dystopian American landscape – the morning light may be shining, but the oil rigs are burning, and the factories are puffing smoke into the atmosphere. Day breaks behind the band, but that isn’t the sun in the sky: it’s the eye in the pyramid, supervising the city. The beams it radiates turn into the sweep advertising lights of a Hollywood marquee. Fraser stands before these backdrops, directing the images like a master of ceremonies describing the decay of modern culture. But then bars drop around her, too, and she’s penned in. High in a tree, the same thing happens to a little bird; first free, a cage falls to envelop her nest.
Here at HIP, we are so stoked to be teaming up with our dear friends Slim Moon and Maggie Vail at Kill Rock Stars once again. The folks at Kill Rock Stars have always been the ones to bring us the most unique and the most deserving of underground artists. We are proud and honored to bring you this great new video from Two Ton Boa and expose this band to your viewers. The band is currently on tour and it would be our greatest pleasure to set up video interviews and IDs for you when they come thorough your market! We also have plenty of copies of Parasiticide, so please don’t hesitate to get in touch if you would like to set up on-air giveaways. If you need more info, call Andy Gesner at 732-613-1779 or e-mail us at [email protected]. You can also visit www.KillRockStars.com or www.TwoTonBoa.com to find out more about Two Ton Boa.
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