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Durian



If guitars had mouths and digestive systems into which you could stuff fistfuls of Ritalin pills, they might make sounds a bit like the sounds Durian's guitars make. They don't of course, so credit is due to the band's two guitarists, Kevin Adams and Frank Stewart, for coaxing out these seriously manic, acrobatic guitar riffs. Prog and math rock are the influences for their wiry guitar parts but overall, Durian isn't so much about high-speed jazzy noodling as mounting a complex, relatively frenzied hardcore attack. Cameron Brock's bass rumble sounds like the amplified intestinal distress of a hungry animal, joining with Derek Fricano's drum clatter to create a propulsive, decidedly schizoid rhythm section. And lead singer Matt Hermann has just the right kind of voice for the band's sound; a thin, high-pitched yowl that is occasionally almost pretty but typically sounds possessed by the singer's demented declamatory mania.

By the way, the band is named after that big, green, thorny fruit, the one which gives off an unbearably putrid fart-like odor when sliced into, but is regarded as a delicacy in certain parts of the world, especially Southeast Asia. Yep, that's a durian. So these guys are a little off the wall. You get the idea.

The quintet formed in Washington, DC (as you should immediately be able to guess from their sound), and has been recording and touring at a breakneck pace ever since. They self-released their first LP, Tomorrow 6:30, in 1997, before inevitably hooking up with Jawbox alum/Burning Airlines member/producer extraordinaire J. Robbins, who produced Durian's '98 "Goodwill" b/w "Dogtrack" seven-inch and their 2000 follow-up LP, Sometimes You Scare Me. "X and Y" is taken from that last release.

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