Quasar Wut-Wut
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Quasar Wut-Wut

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This band has not uploaded any videos


The best kept secret in music


"New and Notable: Reviews 1/7/05"

Taro Sound opens with a short snippet of stately cello, hinting that a refined, white-collar listening experience lies ahead. Soon, however, disarming pips of what sound like singing saw and slide whistle wriggle into earshot, and you begin to realize the truth -- Quasar Wut-Wut are bonkers. My word is bond, but you don't need to accept it; just listen to Matt Schwarz as he sings on "Enola Gay", "I've seen her waltzing through the war-tattered skies / possessed by the drums of the Sanctum Sanctorum / but when I gaze into those black-market eyes / it makes me wanna give it all up". That's pretty far out there by pop standards, but elsewhere he goes further than Robert Plant ever pretended to dream as he sings about the "Elders of the Last Regime", the "Sultans of the Swine", "God's Great Tooth", the "Shock Board of Glamour", the "Hoopty Twins" and various other fantastical hallucinations.

Stupidly gifted and versed in several genres, they make pit-stops at calypso ("Beaver Fever") and tropicalia ("Oh My Dear"'s Hawaiian guitars). "Ass-Kissin' Lips" flaunts their ease with a proggy epic, while "Enola Gay" imagines Zappa maneuvering within the gutted-out, wiry world of The Feelies. Glockenspiel, mandolin, vibes, accordion, jaws harp and one brutally spry bassist (Jordan Frank) all contribute to Taro Sound's propulsive vastness.

If there's nothing cooler than bucking all that is trendy, Quasar Wut-Wut are indie's Steve McQueen. So go ahead and proudly sing along to songs like "The Carrion-Eaters' Lullaby" and "March of the Zug" and ignore all of the concerned looks.
-- Justin Stewart
- Splendid E-zine


Quasar Wut-Wut began life as a band in Michigan in 1990 before relocating to Chicago in 1999. Since arriving in Chicago, the band has gained much press for a live show that is not boring, to say the least. (The band's release party for their latest album, Taro Sound, featured an exotic fan dancer and a mystical hot dog helmet). The Chicago-based
Glorious Noise Records (an off-shoot of the online music community), recognized the talent of this band and saw fit to give it the forum it deserved. By selecting Quasar Wut-Wut as the first band to sign to their label, they have given a truly unique band a voice in the indie-rock landscape.

The first note of this album startled the hell out of me. I was
subsequently put at ease by the eccentric rock that followed -- but not much. Stylistically, Taro Sound is all over the map, providing a sound that refuses to be easily categorized. The album is comprised of song after song of bizarre lyrics, incongruent lyrical phrasing, and complex, often angular guitar melodies. Somehow, Quasar Wut-Wut manages to blend these facets of its music into a cohesive, peculiar brand of rock that you will likely have difficulty putting your arms around on the first listen or two. Subsequent listens (and there will be subsequent listens) will reveal well-crafted, pop songs that are as sincere as they are witty and catchy as they are puzzling.

The album cover features a homemade blimp hovering over the town of Taro Sound, the album's namesake and setting for the second track, "The Tramps of Taro Sound". The song is a blistering introduction into what is to follow. The song utilizes vivid imagery that is both mythological and grand to tell a tale of a brave young adventurer as he prepares in
bittersweet ceremony for his final journey to sea to face the sirens on the "darker side" of town. The song's music is a mix of acoustic guitars and a swinging rhythm section that grooves through the verse and bounces through the chorus and bridge. Throughout the song, electric guitar wallows in and out of the foreground to give the song just the right amount of intensity during just the right moments.

In sharp contrast to the esoteric "The Tramps of Taro Sound", "Oh My Dear" is a direct, minimalist ballad. The lyrics, "hey my dear don't you cry for me / I was only using you like you were using me", are a transparent attempt at solace that, when combined with the sparse acoustic arrangement, make "Oh My Dear" the stuff cry-in-my-beer legends are made of.

The album seems to alternate between the two styles, never becoming complacent. The acoustic noodling of "Pulling Yarns" is underscored by a Black Francis-inspired, one-line chorus. "Ass Kissin' Lips" sounds the like the band is performing its own twisted rendition of a '60s pop tune, but sways like the town drunk under the weight of organs and subtle horns.

Because of the album's eclectic disposition and song titles like "Beaver Fever", the musicianship on the album may be overlooked. However, the interwoven guitar melodies of Matt Schwarz and Brent Sulek are nothing to disregard -- nor are the rhythms. Jordan Frank and Doug Walsh provide bombast and subtlety with equal amount of prowess, often in the same song. Throughout the album, guitars invoke exotic melodies and combine with a swinging rhythm section to create music that sounds like the night fallen on open landscapes. The balladry of the lyrics paints unique images of excited and often panicked characters. If that sounds grand in scope, it is because that is precisely what the album is. Taro Sound mixes all the right elements of punk, country, and rock to create a world of rocking unique to itself.

Taro Sound? Where is it? What does it mean? If it's half as interesting as the album, it may be a place worth checking out. I bet they have hookahs.
- PopMatters Magazine

"Spot Check"

“Sheer manic energy… Uses instrumental virtuosity to spit on the relevance of instrumental virtuosity.” “Its springy, crunchy art pop has depth and texture…and a wide-angle sensibility reminiscent of Camper Van Beethoven”
– Chicago Reader
- The Chicago Reader

"Best Local CDs Released This Year"

"If drunken pirates set to compose the great American musical then the result would be the wickedly ambitious music of Taro Sound (provided said pirates possessed a sharp musical acumen and a horn section)." - The Chicagoist.com


"Jalopy" LP (1999)
"Songs of the Guzzard" EP (2002)
"Taro Sound" LP (2004)

Various tracks from "Taro Sound" have been in rotation on Toronto's CIUT-FM, Chicago's WLUW and WNUR, and Cleveland's WCSB . Tracks have also been featured on Chicago Public Radio and Detroit Public Radio.


Feeling a bit camera shy


After cutting their teeth in Detroit, this four-piece relocated to Chicago in 1999 and found a home amongst the vibrant and eclectic indie-rock scene. In addition to playing raucously over-the-top shows at Chicago's best clubs, Quasar Wut-Wut has also taken to exploring a wide range of new musical projects and collaborations. One recent endeavor found the band writing and performing an original score to Buster Keaton's silent masterpiece The General for Northwestern's Block Cinema Museum. Another engagement, a collaboration with Chicago's Redmoon Theater, included performing for audiences of 2,000 a night from a raft in the Lagoon behind the Museum of Science and Industry. Winter of 2005 saw the completion of Coupon Studios, their new recording studio and rehearsal space. This has only helped to solidify their D.I.Y. ethic and has inspired Quasar Wut-Wut to politely rock out with their cocks out that much more diligently.

After four years of gigging and untold hours of knob twiddling, Quasar Wut-Wut has produced an ambitious album that’s challengingly experimental yet ultimately accessible. Lyrically dark but sonically thrilling, TARO SOUND, a dense and frantic soundtrack, is the painstaking result of a thinking band’s toil. It's a teeming cityscape of upside-down pop houses and tangent-taking breezeways echoing with the poetry of Cohen and Ono Band Lennon. Frenetic guitar lines give way to swells of odd grandeur; inspired playing finds manic grace inside folds of loose-limbed indie pop. Approximating the spontaneous combustion of a lost gypsy caravan blasting the White Album and Rain Dogs, TARO SOUND has an indescribably unique sound, a sound that is at once catchy and strangely familiar, yet reveals more intriguing layers with each listen.