Saturday, January 26, 2013

Tim Timebomb's RockNRoll Theater

To continue with the tentative theme of media-spanning collaboration, I would like to introduce you to Tim Armstrong's musical series.  Go back and re-read that last part if you need to.  It is just as ridiculous as it sounds, and in lesser hands probably would have been an embarrassment.  As executed however, Tim Timebomb's RockNRoll Theater plays as s cross between The Rocky Horror Picture Show and The Twilight Zone, filtered through tim armstrong's street-punk sensibility.  

The first episode, Dante, is a delightfully campy horror/punk retelling of Dante's Inferno.  Tim channels Rod Serling as the narrator, and is joined by Davey Havok, Lars Frederiksen, and Fishbone in key roles.  Also along for the ride is a gaggle of scantly clad dancers and background singers- naturally.  The super indulgent musical performances are intercut with expressionistic animated sequences with brief narrative moments between songs.  

That brings me to the biggest draw, the music itself.  Although heavily rooted in Rancid's streetwise ska/punk sound, this project sees Tim expertly incorporating cheese-stuffed cinematic grandiosity and retro rockabilly charm to fit with and enhance the B-movie musical style.  It's all here, driving power chords are paired with walking baselines with blaring horns and Davey Havok-turned-crooner over the top.  All the while it is punctuated by call-and-response background singing and handclaps.  Somehow it all still feels like a great collection of Rancid music…although listened to during a twisted fever dream.  

Production of episode two, Suzy Reanimated, has stalled after a teaser trailer, having been pushed to the back burner with Armstrong taking on new projects with Rancid and The Transplants, as well as producing Jimmy Cliff's album last year.  It is much anticipated though, and I trust that it hasn't been forgotten.  Make it happen Tim!

The first episode package, which includes the full 30 minute episode in both standard and high definition, as well as the 14 song soundtrack, can be downloaded at the link below for $5; with all proceeds used directly to support this fully DIY project.  Clips and trailers are also available on the website for free.

Thank you for reading!

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