Rufus Rex: Dead Beat (Music CD)
Music by Rufus Rex
Produced by Carpe Demon Music/Villains and Vaudevillians Records
What's a musician to do when he has success with one band but wants to stretch his musical and creative limbs to create something similar, but not at all the same as his primary band? He forms a side project, of course. The music world is filled with such moves. So when Curtis Rx of Creature Feature formed a side project called Rufus Rex, I was curious. Would he totally reinvent his sound? Would he create something even more bizarre than Creature Feature? Would it be a free-form jazz odyssey? What came out put all fears to rest, as the music was undeniably of the same quality. But where Creature Feature is not exactly what one might call "radio friendly," Rufus Rex bridges that gap.
To begin with, the influences are all there. Oingo Boingo, Devo, 80's glam rock, even a smattering of the Go-Gos thrown in. The lyrics are heavily inspired by the works of Lovecraft, while the music draws inspiration from punk, pop, rock, fusion, and just about every other genre, thrown into a blender and set for "pureé. What that translates to are beautifully haunting lyrics at a frantic pace that forces people to bounce. I mean it. Try to listen to "Worlds In-Between" without bouncing. You can't do it. All of this is held together with Curtis Rx's distinctive voice that is one part evil giggle and one part melodious murderer.
On this album there are no weak tracks. There are no tracks that you'll want to skip or fast-forward through. There are tracks that hit hard and, despite the ghoulish lyrics, make a person... well... feel good. The best tracks on the album, though, include "Dead Air," "Worlds In-Between," and "Buckets of Blood." And perhaps the most surprising departure from Creature Feature is the last track on the album, "You'll Never Guess," which includes banjo and what sounds like a washtub bass.
Rufus Rex might just be a side project, but it's a damned good one. It is different enough from the main project to be a separate entity but similar enough to make a person appreciate the main band as well. I'm looking forward to the next Rufus Rex release.