Oakland, California’s rock outfit Whiskerman, whose sound encompasses classic rock, glam-rock, and pop-rock, introduces their wonderfully eccentric music video for “Belly of the Beast,” as an appetizer for their forthcoming fourth album, Kingdom Illusion, described as “a rock and roll vision quest that ushers the band’s elegiac psychedelia toward a louder, pushier, more colorful sound.”
Made up of Graham Patzner (vocals, guitar, violin, and piano), Will Lawrence (bass), Charles Lloyd (guitar and sitar), Dan Schwartz (drums), and Jeremy Lyon (guitar), Whiskerman’s rep for unpredictable soundscapes, wildly chaotic live shows, and cutting lyrics precedes them like clouds before rain.
Frontman Patzner, with his wide-ranging voice, going from hell-fire and damnation revival tent intonations to dulcet lullaby-like melodicism, is a vocal artist of unparalleled ability, who delivers not only grand vocals but a palpable listening event akin to the sonic version of Close Encounters of the Third Kind.
“Belly of the Beast” opens on searing fulminating colors conjuring up visions of The Talking Heads covering Fall Out Boy. Dirty, grainy guitars accented by glistening sparkles, as well as oodles of fuzz, infuse the melody with tangs of rockabilly punk flavors on steroids.
Patzner’s voice resonates with surging sing-song timbres, quivering and vibrating on ready-to-explode stereo speaker-like surface textures. A drum-laced, squealing guitar-filled breakdown features Patzner screaming antiphonally with a wailing guitar.
The video, directed by Ariana Carrera and Mylee Blake, is a trip of surreal proportions, featuring Patzner singing to a group of Gothed-out zombie-like listeners in an underground head shop, where potent hallucinogens are freely dispensed, resulting in wildly frenetic behavior, including dancing, strange head movements, and mirrored screaming. The Mad Hatter looks like a three-year-old at a church picnic compared to the mind-blowing visuals.
“Belly of the Beast” is powerfully visceral, full of anabolic guitars, a relentlessly pulsating rhythm, and the musical flair of Whiskerman.