The Residents' Metal, Meat & Bone - tricky, bewildering, and irritating

The eyeballs have it on The Residents' tribute to possibly imaginary bluesman Alvin ‘Dyin’ Dog’ Snow, Metal, Meat & Bone

The Residents - Metal, Meat & Bone
(Image: © Cherry Red)

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Forty-seven (or so) albums in, and San Francisco’s always intriguing, sometimes flatulent art collective The Residents are just as tricky and bewildering and (occasionally) irritating as they ever were. 

This two-CD collection purports to be a series of suitably deranged interpretations of long-lost demo tracks from Alvin ‘Dyin’ Dog’ Snow, an obscure Louisiana blues musician, one CD full-boned and fleshed out, the other demos. Although whether a) Snow ever existed, and b) the songs on the two CDs are connected, is a matter for conjecture.

As it is, the first Residents album since the death of long-term member (and President of The Cryptic Corporation) Hardy Fox boasts several collaborators including Black Francis (Pixies), and sounds like a slightly more demented Tom Waits circa Swordfishtrombones. Unless you listen to the ‘demos’, in which case they sound like The Residents circa 1978.

Everett True started life as The Legend!, publishing the fanzine of that name and contributing to NME. Subsequently he wrote for some years for Melody Maker, for whom he wrote seminal pieces about Nirvana and others. He was the co-founder with photographer Steve Gullick of Careless Talk Costs Lives, a deliberately short-lived publication designed to be the antidote to the established UK music magazines.