By Ben Apatoff
They've got a band name that's impossible to take seriously. As with their last album, their third release's title sounds like it was conceived to make anyone who recommends it sound ridiculous. But save for a few minutes of dead air, THE TONY DANZA TAPDANCE EXTRAVAGANZA spend all of their new release, Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events, proving that as songwriters and musicians, their band is no laughing matter. They're possibly the best metal act with a terrible name since EYEHATEGOD.
TDTE might be the most cinematic technical death metal band in America right now. Movie buffs will catch references to films like Die Hard and Memento in the song titles, and the album blends the former classic's action-packed vision with the latter film's left-field unpredictability. The relentless guitar attack of "Vicki Mayhem" and "There's a Time and Place for Everything" are enough to knock you off your feet, and less frenetic tracks like "The Lost & the Damned" recall MESHUGGAH in parts. Squealing, alarm-like guitars resonate against heavily distorted riffs that are both catchy and complex, starting and stopping with the abruptness of New York City traffic and descending into chaotic breakdowns that would earn guitarist JOSH TRAVIS and drummer MIKE BRADLEY Golden God Award consideration if there were any justice in this world. Also, unlike nearly every tech-metal album released in the past few years, Danza III is consistently listenable the whole way through. Rather than dump all their best songs in the album's first half, TDTE unleash some of their best tracks, like the breakneck "The Union" and "12-21-21" near the finale, a hidden track that proves to be a more compelling surprise ending than anything M. Night Shyamalan could come up with. Sit back and relax, enjoy the show.
Rating 3.5 Hans Grubers out of 5