Exposé Online banner

Magnet Animals — Butterfly Killer
(RareNoise RNR063, 2016, CD)

by Jon Davis, Published 2016-11-22

Butterfly Killer Cover art

It seems no matter how many times I listen to Butterfly Killer, it never seems to make sense as an album. The music is very scattered somehow, with elements that seem to be working at odds to each other. But in the end I’ve come to see this as a strength rather than a weakness — it’s certainly a sign of creativity, that Magnet Animals have hit upon something truly their own. The group consists of guitarist Todd Clouser, whom we’ve covered before, along with Mexico City drummer Jorge Servin and two musicians who have worked in John Zorn’s New York sphere, Eyal Maoz (guitar) and Shanir Ezra Blumenkranz (bass). This is a far cry from the soulful jazz of Todd Clouser’s A Love Electric recordings, more in the realm of rock with some artsy, avant touches and a jazzy feel. There are some great rock riffs, as on the opener “Headphone Gurls,” which almost sounds like something Jimi Hendrix would have come up with, and lots of headscratching weirdness, often centered around Clouser’s vocals, which are mostly spoken and almost sound like spliced-together samples rather than something he did live. Several of the tracks feature multiple spoken parts that are out of sync with each other, like a chorus that can’t quite coordinate its efforts. At times, I’m reminded of the weirder parts of Axis: Bold as Love or Electric Ladyland. The guitar work is marginally blues-based, with frequent use of atypical effects, moving beyond typical distortion, chorus, and phase into ring modulators and the like. The two guitarists are not generally playing typical lead / rhythm roles, instead playing variations of the lead riff. Butterfly Killer is something of an anomaly in modern music, and worth investigating for adventurous listeners.


Filed under: New releases, 2016 releases

Related artist(s): Todd Clouser, Magnet Animals

Latest news

2020-11-20
25 Views of Worthing Finally Gets Released – A while ago, we wrote about the discovery of a "long lost" Canterbury-style gem by a band called 25 Views of Worthing. And now we're pleased to find out that Wind Waker Records has released their music on an LP. » Read more

2020-10-14
Audion Is Back in Business – Our esteemed colleague Alan Freeman has restarted Audion Magazine after a seven year hiatus. The new incarnation is available online on their Bandcamp site. Audion's history goes back to 1984, and included 58 issues up to 2013. Issue #59 is available now, and #60 is in the works. » Read more

2020-10-06
Romantic Warriors IV – Krautrock (Part 2) Is in the Works – Zeitgeist Media, the people who have brought us the great series of documentary films chronicling the history of progressive rock, are working on the second installment of their examination of German music. Krautrock 2 will focus on artists from Münich such as Guru Guru, Amon Düül II, Xhol Caravan, Kraan, Witthüser & Westrupp, and Popol Vuh. » Read more

2020-09-09
Simeon Coxe RIP – Simeon Coxe, best known for his experimental electronics in the band Silver Apples, has died at the age of 82. The band's 1968 debut album set the stage for both German electronic music and experimental punk music a decade later. Coxe died on September 8 from pulmonary fibrosis. » Read more

2020-09-05
Gary Peacock RIP – Legendary bassist Gary Peacock, veteran of many recordings and performances with Paul Bley, George Russell, Roland Kirk, Bill Evans, Tony Williams, and many more. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

David Garland - Control Songs – David Garland is one of a rather small group of experimental singer/song writers. They are not cut from same bolt of cloth as, say, Paul Simon, Joni Mitchell or James Taylor. Instead, Garland, along...  (1999) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues