Creature of Unusual Size
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Creature of Unusual Size

Band Rock Avant-garde


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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"Club Owner Quotes"

"They're Creature's of shameless self-promotion. You gotta love their Unusual Size. Did I say pillars of the community?"
- Walter, Alice's Restaurant owner, (Austin, Texas)

"Inventive, creative, very easy to work with, our best band!"
- Amad, Latitude 30 owner
(Austin, Texas) - Creature of Unusual Size

"Creature of Unusual Size"

Paris Utopia

More imported brothers, this time Kyle and Kellen Conrad from Tulsa, Okla. And they're funky. Not smokin', electric-slide, James Brown funk; Paris Utopia is a Phish-y funk, hippified from "Letterbox" to "For Getting," and smelling just as ripe. Sometimes delving into a Ween-y cavern ("No Apologies"), fans of jam bands and mid-Nineties Steamboat bands will hunger for the Creature. - The Austin Chronicle

"Creature Walks Among Us"

Creature of Unusual Size heard rocking out
by Jeremy Charles

Princess Bride: Westley, what about the COUS’s?

Westley: (sic) Creatures of Unusual Size? I don't think they exist.

Pointy ears. Fangs. Scraggly mane. Recent unsettling accounts describe a wily beast on the loose in the Tulsa music scene. A growing number of witnesses have spotted a Creature of Unusual Size onstage at local venues. Mobs of unsuspecting townsfolk are being worked into hysterics – and it seems this musical rampage is only beginning.

Those familiar with the Creature say that, on mid-autumnal nights when the moon is out, its melodious howls can be heard cutting across the lonely rowed fields of Conrad Farms. Someone had to get to the bottom of this disturbing phenomenon, and the UTW decided Yours Truly was just the man for the job.

I set my sights south to Bixby one Friday night armed with a mini-recorder, a full thermos of Folgers, and a can of Sasquatch B-Gone™ spray. The mere thought of this interview makes my stomach wrench in anticipation. Will I make it out alive? Will the beast convert me, as it has so many others, with its infectious grooves? With its eclectic blend of rock sub-genres?

The Wolfman’s Brother

As it turns out, these wild men are neither beastly, nor unusually sized. Excepting the backwoods-manly bearded six-foot-four bassist Shawn Ammons (I think I saw a squirrel hiding in there), they seem like regular guys. Okay, I’ll admit drummer Gary Davison does look like a half-transformed Teen Wolf. Sorry Gary, the readers needed to know.

Although Ammons and Davison look the most alike, it is guitarists / vocalists Kyle and Kellen Conrad who are biological brothers. These four musicians have been playing together under various names since they attended high school in Bixby. But when drummer Gary Davison returned from a stint in Vermont a year ago, “something just started clicking”, says Ammons.

While developing their musical cohesion, they temporarily put aside a full-repertoire of originals. ESP was the idea – the jam band school of thought. In the beginning, COUS improvised for hours on end while growing intuitively into one musical unit. “That really built a lot of chemistry,” says Davison.

“I think we’re really learning to talk to each other more as we play - not verbally - just listening to each other,” says the elder Conrad, Kyle. “We didn’t realize the possibilities of our musical chemistry until now.” Each of the four members agreed – it opened up a whole new world to them.

Despite COUS’s respect for improvisational rock, the jam bandwagon was never their modus operandi. “That whole scene is becoming over-saturated,” declares Ammons. “We don’t want to be one entity. We like all kinds of music.” Indeed, this species cannot be easily identified.

Their style interfaces the structure of the Beatles, the funky quality of Phish, and the straightforward rock of STP. But it’s not that easy to pin down. They occasionally slip into alt-country a la early Wilco or whip out the banjo. Other times, they go for baroque revelry, adding wacky overdubbed tracks. No matter what genre they dabble in, however, the underlying influence of folk permeates their sound.

As boys, Kyle and Kellen were raised amongst the three-part harmonies and acoustic sensibilities of the folk outfit Blazon Pearl. Their uncle Mike Calvert, along with his wife Carol and his sister Marsha, built a national reputation for Blazon Pearl. When they weren’t on tour, they took time to instill their nephews with an appreciation of lyrical poetry and sparked a fire for songwriting in them both.

It was Blazon Pearl who once described COUS with the tongue twisting phrase ‘Progressitive Alternafolk / Ameritual Spiricana.’ It’s a pretty nifty description if you ask me, but what does it mean? Perhaps the message is: attempting to label a rock band who defies labels ends up in a confusing, juxtaposing mess. It’s probably best to hear it for yourself.

A Project of Unusual Length

For a long year and a half, COUS have been reworking, recording, and re-recording tracks for their upcoming debut album entitled PARIS Utopia. Most of the album was in place with a different drummer before Davison came aboard last year. But a series of not-so-minor setbacks, mostly involving computer failure, proved to be turning points – for the better. COUS made lemons into lemonade by using the opportunity to rebuild their songs and further fine-tune the dynamics.

Whether it’s an immaculate bass line, that perfect guitar effect, or a slowly panning swoosh of a car driving past their studio, COUS are nothing if not meticulous craftsmen. They take their recording seriously, and they are becoming seriously good at it. Their songs are surprisingly sophisticated for a debut album while remaining raw and honest. Every song seeks to be a multi-layered extravaganza from subtle details to ‘big picture’ concepts.

COUS have always regarded music as a communal experience. There are at least a dozen contributors to PARIS Utopia who help round out their songs and fill in the cracks. Sick, the fiddle-wielding troubadour from PoDank appears, wailing in his signature style with his 200-year-old instrument. The ladies of Blazon Pearl, too, sing backup for COUS in the song “Home”.

One song, “Letterbox”, is a woozy march featuring a teenaged trumpet player and overdubbed with party ambiance. It starts as a simple swaying acoustic guitar riff and builds into a crescendo of carefully orchestrated incongruence. You can hear boisterous voices, glass breaking, a dog barking, and muddled snippets of late-night conversations. “Everybody have fun” the lyrics repeat during the refrain. It sure sounds like fun.

While COUS never dillydallies in one movement for long, sometimes they stay long enough to pick out a familiar influence. The power funk guitar of “Beautiful” gives a nod to Kravitz at his best, but the vocal harmonies and lyrical structures are downright Phishy. Add COUS’s favorite touch, an over-dubbed crowd singing along with the chorus “It’s all so beautiful…” and you’ve got one catchy song.

“(Our songs) have become more theatrical and animated,” explains Kellen. Their willingness to experiment is evident, but never goes over the top. Likewise, while they take abrupt turns during their songs, COUS rarely leave you thinking ‘What just happened?’

The Creature Migrates

“We’re not the kind of people who sit in one place comfortably,” says Kyle, referring to their music, but alluding to something else. “We’re always changing.” Evolving musically remains the ultimate goal for COUS, but they have other dreams to fulfill along the way.

So what does this Creature of Unusual Size have on the horizon? “There’s really no telling where it’s going to go,” says Kellen. But they do have some rough ideas.

Although Conrad Farms will always be home, the Creature is growing restless for a new adventure. With two road-ready RVs, COUS are coordinating the release of PARIS Utopia with the launch of a bohemian expedition. “Kind of like gypsies in a caravan,” says Shawn.

Hopefully, alarmed club-goers from Austin to Seattle won’t arrive at COUS shows gripping pitchforks and waving torches when they go on tour. Once word gets around, they shouldn’t have trouble forming a sizeable posse of listeners to keep the Creature Caravan on the road with full gas tanks.

Future plans aside, at the end of the day COUS is simply trying to remain a fresh and eclectic rock combo. “We take a stab at being unique and try not to compromise,” explains Kyle. So far, this Creature is doing a beastly good job of it.

The Creature will escape Conrad Farms to frighten the public with its CD release party Sat., Nov 13 at the Venue, 216 N. Elgin. Be not afraid.
- Urban Tulsa Weekly


Paris Utopia-
The whole cd is streaming nationwide through radio stations based in three states.
Adventure's with Tom Foolery-
Austin's Arlen studio prodject, scheduled to release late 2006


Feeling a bit camera shy


An all-star crew! Starting with the Conrad Brother's, previously of "Franklin Street" a successful acoustic project who toured the states for two years. Meanwhile studio session bass master Sean Ammons was taking note of the brothers, and was welcomed with open arms into the project that became known as “Creature of Unusual Size”. This three-piece Created a full-length record titled, “Paris Utopia” under Grass Pants records, and it was time to hit the road. Gary Davison, a drummer who has worked with David Teegarden, (one of Bob Seger’s Silver Bullet’s) and “5th Gear”, (a funk project who recorded 11 records in the 90’s for ‘The Honest Politicians”) joined the Creature. The new all-star crew has been traveling for a little over one year; receiving Tulsa’s Spotnic award for 2005, and rave reviews in countless papers and magazines in Texas and Oklahoma. This is only the very beginning for this creative force. They are now working on a new record in Arlyn studios (Willie Nelson’s studio), which should be complete in late 2006. Creature plans to launch themselves from Austin Texas to cover the States, and orbit the earth, (if need be) in search of success.