4 out of 5 Stars!
This is a truly bizarre band with an equally bizarre name that I ran across nearly 20 years ago. Strange, strange, strange stuff, which often reminds me of Frank Zappa’s more eclectic releases…shades of the Mothers Of Invention’s Uncle Meat era. Truly odd and adventurous songs on their debut album (and, sadly, their only album), with snippets of disjointed weirdness seamlessly linked together within the songs (pure Zappa), but not too freaky that it can’t be enjoyed, but rather admired for its overall strangeness and creativity.
The longer tracks are broken up by shorter ones (several being under the two-minute mark), which serve as breaks or lead-ins to the longer pieces.
The title track, “His Name Is NNNNNN,” is twenty minutes of “pure freak,” as explained above in the opening paragraph when it comes to the disjointed Zappa-like weirdness and snippets.
Whereas “Always Merry And Bright,” a light and bouncy instrumental, could have easily appeared on a Jethro Tull album such as Heavy Horses.
“His Name Is Clone” at first continues on with additional Jethro Tull influences, then pops into more Zappa-inspired weirdness, with various breaks of unconnected madness and sections of insanity, including one where, I swear, it sounds like someone is playing (quite well, actually) one of those multi-colored kiddy xylophones.
The next track, “Vicious Cruiser,” is a short proggy instrumental, which leads into the track “NNNNNN Hibachi Salesman, Basketball Star.” The crazy name says it all…more Zappa-esque vocals before the track ends with another short prog excursion.
“Bobby-O-Bobby” includes some reprises from the title track, along with sections of pure prog mixed with more of the Mothers Of Invention type of avant-prog bits (voices, sound effects, radio station insertions, you name it) tossed in at unexpected times.
And near the end of the album, there’s the track named “Kazoo,” a romp into keyboard-driven jazz-rock territory, that actually features—yep, you guessed it—someone playing an actual kazoo as an occasional lead instrument. Again, some of the title track’s main themes are given another reprise here, only arranged to feature the keyboards. Sounds like a cross between bands such as UK and Return To Forever and Utopia (with perhaps Zappa acting as producer).
Do I really need to continue describing each track? Doubtful, since I’m sure by now you get the overall picture of what’s happening here. Despite the fact there are actually twelve named tracks on offer, together they truly make up one long epic, one vast journey into goofy-town, that somehow, magically, seems to work. Or at least it will likely work for listeners who enjoy the type of Zappa-styled, eclectic brand of silliness that is far outside the “norm.”
Too bad Makkiwhipdies released only this single album, as I felt they had great potential. They certainly showed some outrageous creativity and likely could have carved out a place for themselves in the world of Prog.