There are two common methods of appraising a Fantomas record.
One: assume that whatever Mike Patton touches is gold, and therefore nothing on a Fantomas record, however bonkers, can be crap. Thus, however mind-rapingly extreme or gob-smackingly stupid ‘songs’ appear, they’re actually all the work of a collection of genius-grade minds.
Two: *spend over an hour of your life listening to a single-track opus, only to realise that, despite the concerns expressed in One*, it’s pants.
Suspended Animation tosses a third option into the ring: run as fast as you can to the hills and over the horizon, crying like a girl whose favourite doll was beheaded by a masochistic brother. Do so leaving a trail of piss behind you. Do so now, before this record fully engulfs you.
30 tracks over 43 minutes is mind-bendingly surreal enough, but adding packaging straight out of a Japanese novelty souvenir store makes for one attractive purchase (the deluxe model comes as a calandar). It’s probably for the best that the tracks don’t outstay their individual welcomes – too much of Suspended Animation, too quickly, will turn any placid passing listener into a bloodthirsty Roger Rabbit-style refugee, running from an unseen evil, Bob Hoskins nowhere to be seen. Make those hills and you might just be safe. Fall short and it's the Dip for you...
The high-art/highly pointless (delete as appropriate) concept this time is the art of cartoon music composition. Thus we have rampant run-throughs of what Looney Tunes would sound like if Bugs Bunny’s high-jinx were soundtracked by The Locust – Malevolent Melodies – and the cries of Wile E Coyote as he’s spammed by a Dillinger Escape Plan-branded grand piano dropped from some mystery assailant in the sky. Things go ping, fizz and sizzle; comedy pans collide with foreheads; tiny birds flutter around fallen 2-D antiheroes; sick'n'twisted children laugh at the wonderfully slapstick scene unaware that it’s the work of that eternal evildoer himself, Marvin the Martian, who's come to enslave us all. Perhaps.
Fucking insane, whatever way you listen to it.
7Mike Diver's Score