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POLKADOT CADAVER

Progressive Metal • United States


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Polkadot Cadaver biography
POLKADOT CADAVER was formed in 2007 around vocalist Todd SMITH, guitarist Jasan STEPP and drummer John ENSMINGER, all previously members in the now defunct Baltimore rock band DOG FASHION DISCO.

The band members began their activity while still a part of DOG FASHION DISCO and their early demos are featured on the DOG FASHION DISCO's rarities album "Beating A Dead Horse to Death..." Again. It didn't take the band long to announce their debut release and "Purgatory Dance Party" was released for pre-sales on November 17, 2007. Two music videos were added to the band's MySpace channel in March 2008 of "Chloroform Girl" and "Pure Bedlam For Halfbreeds", both from the debut release. These videos were later followed by a video for "Bring Me The Head Of Andy Warhol", uploaded to YouTube a few month later.

The time between 2007 and 2011 was spend on touring and promoting the new band as well as many side projects. Todd SMITH joined a supergroup called THE ALTER BOYS, featuring members of UNIFIED CULTURE, MUDFOOT, ORIGINAL PRANKSTA and MUSHROOMHEAD. This was latter followed by a solo album under the artist name EL-CREEPO!, featuring a slightly more acoustic approach to the metal that SMITH is otherwise known for. Both SMITH and STEPP have also joined the supergroup KNIVES OUT!, including members of HELLYEAH and NOTHINGFACE.
Judging from all the side project work, things began to look bleak for a follow up to "Purgatory Dance Party". Luckily the band announced "Sex Offender" in February 2011. The first single "Bloodsucker" was released in April followed by the album on May 10, 2011. The band's third album, "Last Call In Jonestown", was released on May 14th, 2013.

POLKADOT CADAVER is musically very similar to DOG FASHION DISCO and inherited therefore many of their fans.
The biggest difference is that both Todd SMITH and Jasan STEPP wanted to scale down the endless live performance cycle, that DOG FASHION DISCO were notorious for, and concentrate on studio work. The band's music is vibrant, brutal and highly ambitious, with styles shifting from those of SYSTEM OF A DOWN, SLAYER to MIKE PATTON and CARDIACS. Highly recommended for fans of Avant-Garde Prog Metal!

Biography by Rune2000

Polkadot Cadaver official website

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POLKADOT CADAVER Videos (YouTube and more)


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Buy POLKADOT CADAVER Music


Purgatory Dance PartyPurgatory Dance Party
Rotten Records 2007
Audio CD$9.59
$16.46 (used)
Sex OffenderSex Offender
Rotten Records 2011
Audio CD$7.71
$4.57 (used)
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POLKADOT CADAVER shows & tickets


  • Dog Fashion Disco + Polkadot Cadaver at London Barfly, London on 5 Sep 2014
  • Dog Fashion Disco + Polkadot Cadaver at London Barfly, London on 6 Sep 2014
  • Dog Fashion Disco + Polkadot Cadaver at London Barfly, London on 7 Sep 2014

POLKADOT CADAVER discography


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POLKADOT CADAVER top albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

4.43 | 11 ratings
Purgatory Dance Party
2007
3.87 | 15 ratings
Sex Offender
2011
4.04 | 4 ratings
Last Call In Jonestown
2013

POLKADOT CADAVER Live Albums (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

POLKADOT CADAVER Videos (DVD, Blu-ray, VHS etc)

POLKADOT CADAVER Boxset & Compilations (CD, LP, MC, SACD, DVD-A, Digital Media Download)

POLKADOT CADAVER Official Singles, EPs, Fan Club & Promo (CD, EP/LP, MC, Digital Media Download)

0.00 | 0 ratings
Polkadot Cadaver / Ideamen Split
2007
4.00 | 2 ratings
Bloodsucker
2011
4.00 | 1 ratings
From Bethlehem To Oblivion
2013

POLKADOT CADAVER Reviews


Showing last 10 reviews only
 From Bethlehem To Oblivion by POLKADOT CADAVER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2013
4.00 | 1 ratings

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From Bethlehem To Oblivion
Polkadot Cadaver Progressive Metal

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

— First review of this album —
4 stars It's always tough to pick out the right music for the Christmas season, luckily this problem have now been resolved thanks to the release of From Bethlehem To Oblivion! This 17+ minute EP is easily some of the best Christmas music that I've ever heard. Anyone expecting just another one of those seasonal releases that pop artists/bands do just to boost their record sales during the holiday season will be surprised since this is one of the most genuine Christmas-related releases that I've heard to this day!

The album begins with the quirky You Don't Deserve A God Damn Thing For Christmas, featuring great interplay between the two acoustic guitars. Christmas Angel is a beautiful and sentimental track featuring a stripped down arrangement of acoustic guitars and drum while the cover of Blue Christmas sound like something straight out of Mike Patton cannon. Sad Christmas Clown is where the original Polkadot Cadaver sound finally begins to shine as the band unleash their grandiose sound on this track. Worship The Sun is the only track that sounds a bit out of place on this record since the Christmas references don't actually glue that well with this otherwise rather excellent track.

12 Day Of Christmas, Repent! is where Polkadot Cadaver goes all in and delivers the most inconceivable version of the classic 12 Day Of Christmas track that I've heard to date! I highly recommend checking out the accompanied YouTube music video for this song that is available on the band's RazorToWristRecords channel.

If holiday music isn't generally your thing, then From Bethlehem To Oblivion will hopefully give you a new perspective on the genre. Highly recommended to fans of Christmas and metal music!

**** star songs: You Don't Deserve A God Damn Thing For Christmas (2:13) Christmas Angel (3:34) Blue Christmas (2:29) Sad Christmas Clown (2:30) Worship The Sun (3:03) 12 Day Of Christmas, Repent! (3:35)

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 Last Call In Jonestown by POLKADOT CADAVER album cover Studio Album, 2013
4.04 | 4 ratings

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Last Call In Jonestown
Polkadot Cadaver Progressive Metal

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars The wait for Polkadot Cadaver's third album might not have been as long as the one for their second record, but I honestly could not wait for the May 14th release date to arrive any sooner!

I honestly didn't know what to expect from this record after the slightly disappointing Sex Offender, which was a solid record but far from the band's magnificent debut album Purgatory Dance Party. After hearing some of the samples that were released through the band's record company's YouTube-channel, things got even more confusing since I really loved the title track (Last Call In Jonestown) and Transistors Of Mercy, featuring Neil Fallon on guest vocals, while Impure Thoughts and Touch You Like Caligula left me with a somewhat discontent feeling.

When I finally got my hands on my copy of the pre-order, I must have played the album at least 15 times over the course of the first week. This was a pretty impressive task since Leprous released Coal just a few days later, which meant that I had two of my favorite bands release their records almost simultaneously! At first, Last Call In Jonestown sounded like a continuation of Sex Offender, featuring some solid material but being nowhere near as impressive as the band's debut record. Fortunately, my initial impression began to turn for the better with repeated spins as I began to find more pleasure within even some of the initially less memorable songs.

Besides the, previously mentioned, awesome opening title track and Transistors Of Mercy, there were a few more hidden gems within this set of 12 songs. Lunatic was initially my obvious choice, clearly giving it's title a run for it's money, for this record's biggest hidden surprise while short but very memorable Epilogue made me what to hear more of where that track came from! Ultimately, I'd say that Animal Kingdom is this album's biggest surprise. It's just such a beautiful piece of music that reminds me a bit of the marvelous God Crisis from Dog Fashion Disco's third album The Embryo's In Bloom.

It's safe to say that Last Call In Jonestown has grown on me over time and I now consider it to be a vast improvement over Sex Offender, still there's just not enough content here that would justify the essential rating. This is why I give this record a very strong rating of excellence with a high recommendation to fans of experimental metal music. Looking forward to more of where this music came from!

***** star songs: Last Call In Jonestown (4:02) Lunatic (4:01) Animal Kingdom (4:18) Transistors Of Mercy (5:26) Epilogue (2:50)

**** star songs: Phantasmagoria (4:15) Painkiller (3:50) Sheer Madness (2:46) Impure Thoughts (4:11) All The Kings Men (3:48)

*** star songs: Touch You Like Caligula (5:22) Rats And Black Widows (3:10)

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 Sex Offender by POLKADOT CADAVER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.87 | 15 ratings

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Sex Offender
Polkadot Cadaver Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Sex Offender' - Polkadot Cadaver (7/10)

Best known as the project that rose from the ashes of the well-known and influential avant-garde metal band Dog Fashion Disco, Polkadot Cadaver came onto the scene as something of a joke between two of Dog Fashion's members. Experimenting with different things they wanted to hear, the band would eventually come on its own with 'Purgatory Dance Party', an album I have not yet heard at the time of writing this, but have heard great things about it. Usually, avant-garde metal is a challenging creature to get into, but sometimes, the style is fused with pop to create something that is equally catchy. Polkadot Cadaver are made something of a contradiction in this sense, although they have very experimental arrangements with their music, the songs here are kept within a fairly straightfoward pop format. Although I do not find myself liking all of the quirky things that Polkadot Cadaver do here, it is evident that the band is quite good at what they do, and even excellent at times, although the song does start to slip towards the end.

If I was going to draw comparisons to other bands (besides Dog Fashion Disco), Polkadot Cadaver sounds like a crossover between Mr. Bungle and Pain of Salvation. The melodies are kept strong during the album's better parts, and while there are many pop conventions here, the weirdness is brought forth through some experimentation with different electronic sounds and obscure lyricism. The guitars have some straightforward riffs reminiscent of progressive metal, but it is really left up to the electronic aspect of 'Sex Offender' to give the album a weird flair. The album's single 'Bloodsucker' is ridiculously catchy, and while it could easily be heard on any rock radio station, there is always weird sampling that runs throughout the song. Often, this can wear a bit thin, but it does add a new dimension to the music.

The songwriting here is a little up and down. 'Bloodsucker' is probably the highlight here, although 'Sea Grave' and the distinctly U2-sounding 'Forever And A Day' make for a good listen as well. The album's biggest flaw is that as the songs go on, they keep getting less memorable, until the last song, which brings the quality of the album up before it ends completely. Although the music does grow with a few listens, the songs still feel a bit lacking, as if they are stuck in some uncomfortable limbo between aiming to be catchy, and aiming to be weird. The ultimate result is a bit underwhelming; a collection of songs that do leave an impression collectively, but apart from the single, they don't really leave a mark after the listen is over.

'Sex Offender' is an interesting album, and Polkadot Cadaver is a band that has an interesting and even unique sound to them. That adds points right off the bat for 'Sex Offender', but like many avant-garde ventures, not everything here works. Sometimes, the album's weirdness and somewhat awkward lyrical content borders on kitsch, despite the high quality that is evident in this band's music. All the same, Polkadot Cadaver are a band to keep an eye out for.

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 Bloodsucker by POLKADOT CADAVER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Bloodsucker
Polkadot Cadaver Progressive Metal

Review by Conor Fynes
Prog Reviewer

4 stars 'Bloodsucker' - Polkadot Cadaver (Single)

Here is the single for the second album by Polkadot Cadaver, an avant-garde metal project that rose from the ashes of the Baltimore band Dog Fashion Disco. This is a band that should share fans with bands like Mr. Bungle or even Unexpect; a very quirky take on metal that is not afraid to experiment. The album 'Sex Offender' was a great album, although it was a bit of a mixed bag when it came to songs. 'Bloodsucker' was certainly one of the more memorable tracks from that album though, and while it did take a few listens to grow on me, its quirky approach makes for a very charming single. The song has a gothic feel to it and plenty of near-circus weirdness. The chorus is infectious to say the least, although the sheer poppiness of it takes a few listens to sink in. The performance by the band reminds me somewhat of Pain of Salvation, but the style of songwriting is much different. Despite following a fairly conventional style of songwriting, Polkadot Cadaver has worked alot of strange arrangements into the song. 'Bloodsucker' is a great song, although people should be warned that it takes a very poppy approach, despite being technically a 'metal' song.

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 Sex Offender by POLKADOT CADAVER album cover Studio Album, 2011
3.87 | 15 ratings

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Sex Offender
Polkadot Cadaver Progressive Metal

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars A great album - a disappointment by Polkadot Cadaver standards....

Well, I guess that it's more like a disappointment by the standard that the band set with the release of their 2007 debut album Purgatory Dance Party. To me, that was easily the best album of the last decade and I rank it among my top 30 favorite albums. So you can probably understand the high expectations that I had when I heard the announcement of a new album coming out in May. I immediately pre-ordered the release off the band's website and marked my calender!

Before the album finally arrived, Polkadot Cadaver released a single off the upcoming release titled Bloodsucker and that was where the gears of confusion were set in motion for me. As I mentioned in my review of that release, I found this single to be a bit out of place due to its somewhat generic chorus section and the whole approach to music making seemed out of place with the debut album. I did eventually grow to enjoy this single even though, to be completely honest, I would have probably dismissed it all together have it not been released by Polkadot Cadaver.

Then came the second piece of the puzzle with a new sample track on the band's MySpace site called Cake & Eat It Too. This track was more in line with the general style of Purgatory Dance Party but there was still something off with the whole experience. It certainly didn't help that the chorus sounded extremely out of place with the rest of the composition. I finally found a simple explanation to my general dislike of these two tracks; they both followed a relatively easy to follow verse/chorus/verse/chorus/interlude/bridge/chorus -formula that didn't fit with the band that I've grown to love so far (this includes Dog Fashion Disco material).

I played the CD as soon as it arrived at my door and must have given it 4-5 spins that first evening alone. After this overexposure, I was quite surprised at how little of this material actually stuck with me. There were many recognizable sections here and there, but the overall feel for the album was non-existent! I've now played this album around 20 times and my opinion of the recording is that it's a great one. Unfortunately, it's nowhere near as mindbogglingly amazing as the debut album. Allow me to be more precise:

The album begins on a high note with Opus Dei/Seagrave combo which brings back the memories of the intro to Dog Fashion Disco's final record Adultery. So far, we're off to a great start! Then we get the aforementioned single, Bloodsucker, which doesn't really fit in with the first two tracks, but it still makes sense to place it here since it does soften the blow of Starlight Requiem. This tracks is plain weird. The anti-religiously charged lyrics strip all the clever sarcasm that Todd Smith has built with his ingenious lyrics in the past and I'm truly surprised that he decided to go down this route. The composition itself is really nothing special, following the previously mentioned formula.

Stronger Than Weak returns us to slick word puzzles but the song itself is not among the band's greatest moments. Luckily, Slaughterhouse Striptease and the album's title track return us to the territory of Purgatory Dance Party, great stuff indeed! Unfortunately that's pretty much all of the highlights since Cake & Eat It Too, Mongoloid and Forever And A Day don't do as much for me. Great tracks, but the Polkadot Cadaver magic is just not there.

You might be asking yourself (that is if you've actually read this far) why I gave this album an excellent rating when I mostly complain all throughout my review? It's not that I dislike this album since it clearly has a few amazing moments. My main concern comes up wherever I try comparing it to the debut album; Purgatory Dance Party is an essential piece of music that should be experienced by all fans of Metal music with a twist. Sex Offender rates just above the excellent level but I it's definitely standing on the edge to the good, but non-essential territory. I would have probably dismissed it as such and not put in the extra effort of exploring the album have it not been released by Polkadot Cadaver.

***** star songs: Opus Dei (0:52) Seagrave (4:32) Slaughterhouse Striptease (3:35) Sex Offender (4:31)

**** star songs: Bloodsucker (3:58) Stronger Than Weak (3:38) Cake & Eat It Too (5:05) Forever And A Day (5:32)

*** star songs: Starlight Requiem (4:03) Mongoloid (4:48)

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 Bloodsucker by POLKADOT CADAVER album cover Singles/EPs/Fan Club/Promo, 2011
4.00 | 2 ratings

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Bloodsucker
Polkadot Cadaver Progressive Metal

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

4 stars There were a lot of mixed feelings going though my head when I heard Bloodsucker for the first time, right around its release in early April 2011. On one hand, it was the long awaited new track from Polkadot Cadaver, a band that I've been completely mesmerized by ever since I heard Purgatory Dance Party in early March 2011. On the other hand, the style of this single sounded very different from what I expected from Todd Smith and Jasan Stepp. The chorus line seemed a bit too generic and the whole approach to music making would have sounded out of place on the debut album. Luckily, a few revisits later I began to appreciate what the band was going for with this composition.

Let's not forget that Bloodsucker is the first single which automatically makes me reflect on the band's first single off Purgatory Dance Party. A Wolf In Jesus Skin had a completely opposite effect on me since I fell in love with it at first but then it managed to lose some of its momentum 50+ spins later. I guess that having a polar opposite effect with Bloodsucker is actually a good thing and if the rest of the album is as strong as this first teaser then I definitely won't be disappointed!

**** star songs: Bloodsucker (4:01)

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 Purgatory Dance Party by POLKADOT CADAVER album cover Studio Album, 2007
4.43 | 11 ratings

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Purgatory Dance Party
Polkadot Cadaver Progressive Metal

Review by Rune2000
Special Collaborator Prog Metal Team

5 stars It's amazing to finally see Polkadot Cadaver on PA! Both Todd Smith and Jasan Stepp are considered the Godfathers of Avant-Garde Metal, a genre they developed by taking ideas from experimental metal of Mr. Bungle and pushing it to its extreme with the six Dog Fashion Disco releases, between 1996 and 2007. The band went as far as they possibly could with their material and the release of their final studio album Adultery showed a perfection of the genre that just couldn't be topped within the existing lineup. This was when Smith and Stepp dissolved the band and went on to do more studio experiments on their own.

With the help of past Dog Fashion Disco collaborators John Ensminger and Matt Rippetoe, the new project started somewhat as a joke where the duo basically brainstormed though all the different things that they wanted to try out on a record an then mixed it into what became Purgatory Dance Party. One clear diversion from the previous sound of Dog Fashion Disco is the addition of two acoustic tracks Haunted Holiday and Chloroform Girl which might seem all sweet and innocent until you start uncovering their lyrical content!

We also get additional electronic arrangements, most prominent on Purgatory Dance Party and Bring Me The Head Of Andy Warhol, and what can only be considered a homage to Slayer on the intro of What's The Worst Thing That Could Happen?. The contrasts between the compositions are pretty extreme but somehow it manages to work perfectly as a whole entity. I honestly can't pick a single track that I would consider being out of place on this release!

I've been listening pretty much non-stop to Purgatory Dance Party after discovering it in early March 2011 and my favorite compositions have shifted back and forth. Still, if I had to pick the tracks that just never seize to amaze me then it would be Bring Me The Head Of Andy Warhol and Pure Bedlam For Halfbreeds. These two compositions cover a lot of mileage over the course of their relatively short playtime. I can describe Bring Me The Head Of Andy Warhol as an acid trip gone bad. Ever new twist and turn of the composition makes the music sound more sinister than before and the transition to Chloroform Girl is completely epic!

Other great moments here are the upbeat Long Strange Trip To Paradise and What's The Worst Thing That Could Happen? which always manage to pump me up with energy, while Sole Survivor is just a perfect concluding track that ties the record neatly into a bundle and hands it over to you and make the listener hit that repeat button and experience the whole album "over and over and over again"!!!

I really want to shout from the rooftops about how much I love Purgatory Dance Party, but frightened by the fact that long review discourage people from reading all the way though, allow me to tie the knot here by simply stating --- experience this album!!!

***** star songs: Haunted Holiday (2:01) A Wolf In Jesus Skin (3:50) Long Strange Trip To Paradise (2:36) Bring Me The Head Of Andy Warhol (3:26) What's The Worst Thing That Could Happen? (4:32) Pure Bedlam For Halfbreeds (3:04) Sole Survivor (4:34)

**** star songs: Purgatory Dance Party (4:08) Deathwish (3:36) Phantom Limb (3:19) Chloroform Girl (2:56) Brainwash (3:54)

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Thanks to Bonnek for the artist addition. and to Rune2000 for the last updates

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