The Great Tyrant

The spectacle above was The Pointy Shoe Factory – a Texan ensemble whose turbulent sound I fell in love with 7 years ago, while working a shpooky retail gig. I discovered them behind the shop stereo on a scratched-up, home-made CD. Dramatic and dirty, the album felt almost like a film score. If in his 20s Angelo Badalamenti himself had a doom band that played in smoky Lynchean lounges it would sound like this. I looked for more, but the band had broken up for all the classic reasons: money, women, drugs and backstabbing. Daron Beck – TPSF vocalist and, as it turned out, the one who abandoned that CD at my old job – had apparently lost his mind. He was busying himself with a stint on American Idol, sitting in with various bands and playing strangely affected solo shows under the name “The Passion Of Daron Beck”.

The Great Tyrant 7″ album art by the talented David D’Andrea

This unseemly behavior halted when The Great Tyrant was formed. The band has now been together for three years, with Beck as crooner, wailer and keyboardist,  Jon Teague on drums and Tommy Atkins on bass. Both Teague and Atkins are formerly of Yeti – a space-prog band TPSF performed with regularly. The three site a long and erratic list of influences, among them Scott Walker, Il Baletto di Bronzo and Swans. While this configuration is smaller than The Pointy Shoe Factory, the sound is not. Still thoroughly theatrical and doomy, The Great Tyrant drowns the senses in expert noise and takes the brain for a stroll along the edge of pandemonium. Have listen to Candy Canes, the A side of TGT’s 7? while you watch the video, made for the band by Nouvelle Mode Films.

A seemingly sane Daron reports that being part of The Great Tyrant has been a tremendous learning experience, and that playing with Jon and Tommy is everything he could wish for in a band. Feel the love! They have finished their first full length album and are looking for a label to put it out on vinyl – any takers? There is a plan for a West Coast tour in the fall [wheee!] and a split 12? with Human Anomaly [ex-Noothgrush] that should be out by early fall. As we wait for hard copies of an album to become available [or an official website, for that matter], I suggest you keep a close eye on The Great Tyrant myspace page. And if you’re in Dallas, you can see them live on December 28, 9pm at Double Wide.

5 Responses to “The Great Tyrant”

  1. Tequila Says:

    I get more of a “soundtrack to a low budget & slightly mad traveling carnival” vibe. A very good thing in my book so I thank you for sharing…I will keep them on my radar.

    Candy Canes has a very sing a long quality to it doesn’t it? Really merits audience participation…and not a bad song for THIS holiday season too.

    Haha @ the American Idol performance…I liked it but it was great hearing Gene Simmons go “…peculiar is a great way to make a living…”

  2. jessica mullen Says:

    lovely, thanks for the post. will investigate further.

  3. Beatriz Says:

    The sound of this group remembers me one of my favourite bands: Katzenjammer kabarett
    I love the sound of The Pointy Shoe Factory and I’m searching some torrent or similar since like an hour ago but there’s nothing. Damn…

  4. Zoetica Says:

    Tequila, it’s decided – if they do come through town next year you and I will have to attend a show and lead our very own sing along session. And yes, that American Idol clip has me falling over laughing every time!

    Jessica, it’s what we’re here for! My pleasure.

    Beatritz, you can hear a bunch of Pointy Shoe Factory tracks on Myspace – click here. Thank you for the Katzenjammer Kabarett link, too – listening to them now!

  5. Tequila Says:

    Zo…You my funny face making friend have a deal! Hopefully we can get people to sway side to side as they sing like the drunken patrons of a German beer garden.