Hall of Justice

Impervious to kryptonite since 1974. Bragging about it since 1974.

Thursday, December 01, 2005

A Music Primer: Don Caballero

As I have mentioned before on this site, the greatest drummer alive, Damon Che, headlined Don Caballero until the band's demise in 2001. An instrumental outfit from Pittsburgh, Don Cab is widely considered by music geeks to be the quintessential math rock band. Math rock is distinguished by its peculiar and complex rhythms and tempos and de-emphasized (or, in this case, complete lack of) vocals. Additionally, many math rock bands, including Don Caballero, pull from jazz as well as rock influences. Like its namesake school subject, music from this genre could also be classified as cold, calculating, and soulless.

It is impossible to put Don Cab's sound into words without being paradoxical: complex yet repetitive, highly structured yet chaotic. In addition to Che, guitarist Ian Williams garners individual attention for his unusual style and intricate melodies. Also of note are the weird song titles Don Caballero chose (e.g. "Details On How To Get ICEMAN On Your License Plate," "In The Abscence Of Strong Evidence To The Contrary-One May Step Out Of The Way Of The Charging Bull," "Let's Face It Pal, You Didn't Need That Eye Surgery").

Topping the Don Caballero catalog are American Don, their last and most jazz-influenced album, Don Caballero 2, and What Burns Never Returns. Don Caballero 3, linked below, is the first track from What Burns Never Returns. It exhibits most of the qualities that make Don Caballero unique.

Don Caballero - Don Caballero 3