Flatheads & Spoonies
The New Yorker, June 5/00. Daniel Kaufman 'The band--tuba, drums, and guitar--laces it's loop filled songs with New Orleans style grooves with some progressive rock guitar heroics. The result is long, intricate and often hypnotic soundscapes that build and build until the magic of the tuba and the ferocious trancelike drumming become pleasantly overwhelming.' The Washington Post. Monday, December 25, 2000. 'High-quality digital samplers have become more and more affordable over the past decade, making what was once a tool of big-budget acts a part of the sonic arsenals of independent bands. One of the most ingenious outfits to make use of the technology is the New York City instrumental dynamo Drums and Tuba, which sampled masterfully during it's invigorating show at the Black Cat on Friday night. Drums and Tuba has a guitar player, too, and string-bender Neal McKeeby is central to the trio's melodic and sampling concerns. Along with tuba man Brian Wolff (who is burly enough to handle his B-flat behemoth without looking as though he may have a double hernia at any moment), McKeeby states a phrase, captures it in his sampler and plays it back in a loop, freeing him to play other chords or melodies. Wolff's tuba often takes the bass role, but his second lines, twisted and squeezed by electronics, often sound like a synthesizer or keyboard. Funky drummer Anthony Nozero's whip-crack beats propel the whole conglomeration into a swinging sound that is a giddy combination of the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, Booker T. & the MGs and sterling instrumental band Pell Mell.