After finding about four or so incredible artists that I will listen to for probably the next few years, I’m really starting to enjoy the Global Music Project, despite the many frustrating hours I’ve been spending on Myspace to find them. When I do finally find an artist that is worth writing about, it’s always very refreshing and inspiring but Switzerland’s Reverend Beat-Man damn near knocked me out when I hit play. To put it bluntly, he makes Tom Waits sound like an optimistic silver-spoon-fed little bitch.
Reverend Beat-Man’s music sounds like WWII-era jazz mixed with trashy rockabilly and the unbridled anger and passion of early grunge and punk bands. The end result is a strange and beautiful mixture that could easily fit right into any scene from a Quintin Tarentino movie. To date, he’s released seven albums through indie label Voodoo Rhythms. It also looks like he tours quite frequently and will be demolishing the United States until mid-July of 2009 so check his Myspace page if you want to see him live.
From all of the songs that I’ve heard available on Myspace and YouTube, it seems that the Reverend prefers a very low-fi sound. However, his definition of low-fi is less like the trendy indie-rock style and more like the ominous feeling of a dangerous alley where you might get stabbed. Another key aspect of his sound is the guitar work. Although not inept on guitar, it’s clear that his personality and voice take center stage, both live and in the studio.
Without knowing too much about the Reverend, it’s difficult to say how seriously he takes the persona that he created for himself. Regardless of it’s authenticity, it certainly does influence how his music is perceived. Although I’m sure he plays it up a bit, I get the impression that the image of a hard-drinking psyshco-hillbilly preacher isn’t entirely fradulent. Either way, he has no shortage of character and I’m sure that it makes his live show a hell of a lot more exciting.
Here is the video for the brilliantly insane song, “Jesus Christ Twist,” which got me to keep listening after I found him on Myspace. A quick note: I think the version on his Myspace was recorded much better so check that one out too.