Fatso Jetson

Cruel & Delicious

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There must be something in the sand of sweltering Palm Desert, a California town that has birthed Kyuss and Queens of the Stone Age, as well as Fatso Jetson. Like Kyuss/QOTSA, Fatso Jetson built a name for themselves by putting their own unique spin on the Sabbath sound, but unlike their counterparts, larger than life singer/guitarist Mario Lalli's true love lies in both jazz (Thelonious Monk, Eric Dolphy) and experimental rock (Frank Zappa, Devo). On paper, this conglomeration of different styles sounds like the perfect recipe for a train wreck, but it somehow all comes together on disc, as evidenced by the trio's 2003 offering, Cruel & Delicious. Issued on old pal Josh Homme's label, Rekords Rekords, the trippy songs perfectly fit the feel of the album's cover (a sun-bleached photo of a long stretch of desert highway), especially such standouts as the saxophone free for all "Drinkin Mode," the melodic "Light Yourself on Fire," the bouncy instrumental "Heavenly Hearse," a barely recognizable cover of the Devo obscurity, "Ton O Luv," and the jazzoid freak-out, "Pig Hat Smokin." Cruel & Delicious is an enjoyable slice of hard rock, well off the beaten path.

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