Meet the Residents

Meet the Residents

Even with decades of hindsight, The Residents' 1974 debut album still sounds as strange as it is sui generisMeet the Residents is an outright assault on preconceptions about rock and (in the broadest sense) pop. Absurdist lyrics, offbeat vocal chants, primal percussion, and discordant piano stabs are all part of the musical menu, but so's a sort of postmodern-classical avant-garde sensibility, entailing sophisticated snatches of melody and harmony amid all the carefully controlled carnage. The lengthy closing suite, "N-ER-GEE (Crisis Blues)," encompasses everything from someone goofily singing along to the original recording of The Human Beinz's '60s garage-rock hit "Nobody but Me" to a snatch of drunken barbershop-style vocal harmony, ending one of the oddest albums in "rock" on an appropriately out-there note.

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