The Plastic Parade
2005, Independent Release
Absent Society, "The Plastic Parade"
It's too bad that Absent Society didn't release The Plastic Parade a few years back. With nu-metal guitar undertones and that quirky vocal melody that makes people love (or hate) Mike Patton and Mr. Bungle, the Bay Area's Absent Society may have garnered some label attention five or six years ago. Now, with the nu-metal backlash in full effect (when will this finally affect Disturbed?), Absent Society will probably be written off as another Patton-inspired, refrigerated slab of nu-metal leftovers.
It's a bit of a shame, because The Plastic Parade's collision of bizarre vocal melodies, stop-start staccato riffing, Dillinger Escape Plan-inspired songwriting (although Absent Society sounds infinitely more accessible), and nu-metal guitar tone pays off some of the time. Melodies from "Michael McDermott," "Ewe And Eye," and the title track would be right up the alley of Bungle and 2001-era Mudvayne fans. The Plastic Parade is a self-released album, so the production comes off a bit tinny, and lends to the somewhat jarring, outdated guitar tone, and the music isn't exactly my cup of tea, but most of the record works despite the few shortfalls. The music is definitely calculated, resulting in songs that are neither boring or predictable, so if you dig Mike Patton and his myriad of projects, Mindless Self Indulgence, or can imagine a nu-metal version of Dillinger, Absent Society should prove an interesting, worthwhile listen.