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CD Review: Kat Larios 

click to enlarge Safety Clyde Records, 2008
  • Safety Clyde Records, 2008

There’s a world of difference between trying to be an eccentric artist and innately being an eccentric artist. I believe Kat Larios to be weird-wired. Envision Tracy Chapman, Tiny Tim, and Little Jimmy Scott in some David Lynch/carny-esque scenario and you’ll have something akin to the musical side of Bathos in Aqua. This acoustic Kingstonite is a minor-chord minimalist, relying mostly on freakish warblings and lone instruments—ukelele, accordion, guitar, organ—to produce 13 hypodermic tunes with simplistic strummings and unnerving, repetitive strains. Larios’s sparsely spaced guest artists on this record include Grasshopper (Mercury Rev) on clarinet, and cellist Jane Scarpantoni (Lou Reed, REM, 10,000 Maniacs).

After hearing 20 seconds of track one, this reviewer was riveted. Then came the lyrical doppelganger, sucked screaming from the muse of confusion. Larios is a smacking wordsmith, a madman’s puzzle prophet, offering a refrigerator magnet-poetry acid trip brimming with ill-iteration and tongue-tripping wordplay: “Oh console / fold-out molting / high-end hole / eat-in quarantine” (from “Molting Consultant”); “Gotta rot, go carve a notch / wretched wrist / demolish watch / tick-tock uneven” (from “Gray Area”). Readers, don’t be stupid enough to ignore a paragon of profundity when it’s staring you in the kisser. Kat Larios will play at Muddy Cup/Inquiring Mind in Saugerties on March 14. www.myspace.com/katlarios.

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