Butterflies & Aliens
Enjoy The Irritants 2001 recording, 'BUTTERFLIES AND ALIENS'; a disturbing wonderland necessary for the politically frustrated and poignant to the religiously ambiguous like their previous works, but this go-round, The Irritants have taken a more mature, biting, and darker turn in their songwriting and production values. Though still dotted with impertinence and solid underground rock and pop-ness, 'BUTTERFLIES AND ALIENS' features brilliant guest artists that help to stir this recording into a liquid wang, a genre-scavenging, original tar bucket worthy of an elusive, lost and wandering troupe of undead shaman, ...or possibly carpetbaggers. 'BUTTERFLIES AND ALIENS' is a complete entertainment from start to finish and it is intended by the band to be heard this way rather than as single cuts separated by unintended pauses of undetermined lengths. It runs like an engaging theatre of the mind edited for said purpose to provide maximum replay value as a total album. ---A SOMEWHAT TOLERABLY BRIEF HISTORY OF THE IRRITANTS--- In 1985, independent artist/animator Dean Kendrick persuaded two of his compadres, John Carpender and Jeff Demand, to compose music for his underground stop-motion fantasy 'Left to Write.' At the time, John was playing drums with approximately a billion rock, reggae, jazz, and blues bands and Jeff was playing the family Optigon with headphones in the wee hours. Both leaped at the prospect of soundtrack dabbling and were injured. With the use and abuse of a 4-track cassette recorder, the team not only created noise for the film, but dribbled out many side projects as well involving improvisation and track layering. Dean then joined this experimental circus adding Zappa-esque editing of the compositions to the already nauseous mix, thus creating, as we know them today, 'The Irritants.' 'The Irritants' was a description before becoming a title and is derived, of course, from the Saxon word for 'cheese.' Between 1985 and 1992, The Irritants created four raw, no-budget cassette albums totaling more than 150 cuts. Eight songs were featured in a 25 minute video, 'The Irritants Eye Wax,' completed in 1991 and directed by Dean. Much to the band's surprise, a sick little cult following emerged in the band's native Chicago area. Fans searching for the finest in Trench Variety music found it in the guise of 'The Irritants,' alternative's alternative sound. The year 1994 saw the completion of 'Brick,' utilizing such advanced recording methods as two 4-track recorders and mix down to HiFi VHS tape. Shocking. Since then the boys have gone digital, in part. The 2001 release, 'Butterflies and Aliens,' was recorded mostly on ADAT and Sony MiniDisc formats (yes, and some good ol' cassette 4-trackage as well). Seems these kids never discount any recording method. Also, 'Butterflies and Aliens' welcomed many new fabulous and disturbed artists to the growing and groaning dysfunctional Irritants family which have helped to take the aural visions of The Irritants to the cleaners and beyond.