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

2018-07-09
Soft Machine Set to Release New Music – It's been 50 years since The Soft Machine changed the face of music with their first album. Their blend of psychedelic rock and jazz was unique, and while the band went through many changes before disbanding in 1981 — by which time there were no original members remaining — they remained an innovative force with a style all their own. » Read more

2018-07-01
7d Surfaces Happy Rhodes Back Catalog – We've covered singer Happy Rhodes before, both for her solo work and recently with The Security Project, but her 11 albums have been hard to track down. Until now. 7d features high-quality downloads of all her releases, and several of them are also available on CD. » Read more

2018-06-25
Fred Chalenor RIP – We have news of another sad passing in the world of creative music. Bassist Fred Chalenor, whose creativity featured on albums by Tone Dogs, Caveman Shoestore, and many more, died on June 23, 2018 after a long battle with Alzheimer's. Tributes have poured in from the many musicians and fans whose lives he touched. » Read more

2018-06-13
Jon Hiseman RIP – One of the great drummers of the rock era has died. Jon Hiseman was a veteran of such ground-breaking groups as Colosseum (I and II), Tempest, John Mayal's Bleusbreakers, and was a founding member of the innovative large band United Jazz + Rock Ensemble. » Read more

2018-06-05
Koenjihyakkei Seeks Funding for New Album – It's been quite a few years since the last new studio album by the amazing Koenjihyakkei. Now they are preparing Dhormimviskha for worldwide release, and they're asking fans to pre-order via a Kickstarter campaign to help it happen. » Read more


Previously in Exposé...

(Tom Newman) - Variations on a Rhythm of Mike Oldfield - David Bedford – This is a four track EP, and is basically a Tom Newman album. It's confusing, I know. This is some of that stuff you know Oldfield and Co. did for laughs (when perhaps beer and worse entered the...  (1998) » Read more



Listen & discover



Print issues