Ted Kirkpatrick – “Ode to a Roadkill” (2010)
From Ted Kirkpatrick, Tourniquet’s drummer and a nature freak, comes an album on which all vocals are done by animals, and the only song with lyrics is an instrumental.
“Ode to a Roadkill” is a slow, gritty and old-fashioned beast of a guitar album. The man who is known most for his technical drumming has done what most perfectionist musicians of this caliber find impossible – he has toned down the drumming to an absolute minimum. Seriously. If you know his usual work with Tourniquet, or his extremely technical drumming-over-classical-music lessons released under the title “In the Shadow of the Masters” earlier the same year, you will not believe how far the drumming has moved into the background. This CD is the exact opposite of “In the Shadow of the Masters”. What you will hear is riff after dirty riff of lazy, sludgy stoner metal anthems as the track list (that reads like a signpost at a zoo) runs down. The dominant guitars sound aged, broken, and moody (one Tourniquet song that comes close is “In Death We Rise”). At times they seem to dwell on a single note for minutes, like Paramæcium’s majestic album opener “The Unnatural Conception”. But this is not doom metal. This is something older, something more primordial. “All guitars, amps, cabinets, […] from the 1970s”, the finely designed digipack boasts. I myself do not know a lot about this kind of (stoner rock) music, so I cannot really say how unique or nostalgic this actually is. To me “Ode to a Roadkill” is unique enough to be an album that will always hold a special place in my collection.
And the ‘vocals’… Remember the haunting cat sounds in “The Skeezix Dilemma”? These animal vocals remain “totally unaltered” according to the liner notes, and yet they are completely spine-chilling. Time and again Tourniquet have included lyrics that gave mistreated or endangered animals ‘a voice’. This time it’s for real. Animals are the sole focal point of what this CD is ‘about’. And Kirkpatrick has found an interesting new way to give them a voice.
This is from the (unsung) lyrics printed in the 100& recycled digipack:
“I pause to mourn your loss today…
You are not a punch line for a joke
You are not garbage strewn on a road
You are not just fur matted in blood
You are my ode to a roadkill”
In one sentence: Lions and tigers and bears, over lazy gritty guitars.
relaxed _ X _ _ _ aggressive
introspective _ _ _ X _ outspoken
rough X _ _ _ _ polished
juvenile _ _ _ X _ mature