Standout Track: No. 8, “Any Robot But You,” a multi-part, nearly 9-minute long prog-rock adventure with a Mars Volta-esque frantic vibe, from Last Rites of a Living Legend, Cartoon Weapons’ debut album. “I’ll take my chances/With any robot but you,” sings bassist Zack Be during one of the song’s short flashes of subdued, laid-back jazz, his voice ripe with paranoia and fear. But the quiet doesn’t last. Guitarist Garrett Gleason plucks out the track’s knotty main riff only seconds later, spinning “Any Robot But You” back into the dystopian nightmare from whence it came.
Musical Motivation: On “Any Robot But You,” the D.C. math-rock trio poses an Orwellian question: Can empathy exist in our current, modern world? “There’s this very human need to want something or someone new in your life, pitted against this very depressing worldview in which everyone around you is just another robot,” Be says. Oy.
The Lemming Song: Be recites a spoken-word passage in the middle of “Any Robot But You,” but it’s not just any ordinary poem written to underlay a guitar freakout. Be says the words were derived from lines in his high school ecology textbook on a section about the life cycle of lemmings. The didactic tone is deliberate, Be says: “I was going for that feeling of a child reading a textbook and letting all those ideas about ‘how life is’ flood their head and shape their being, for better or worse.”
Stream “Any Robot But You” after the jump.