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The Eternals



Not to be confused with the identically titled vocal pop groups of the '50s, The Eternals make music that revolves around the drums and bass. No, they don't make drum and bass, goofy -- they play in a rhythmic, molasses-thick, seriously dub-influenced fashion. You could say they bring the funk, post-punk style, but really, their sound is just too weird to be reduced to a single sentence. Because even as that central bass line slithers, dark and dangerous like a water moccasin through a Louisiana bayou, dozens of other things seem to be going on, from vocalist Damon Locks's dry, bordering-on-absurd declamations to swampy leech-covered keyboard lines to wacky samples straight outta left field. There's not much in the way of melody or hooks; you've gotta be in it for the rhythms, which will suck you in like quicksand. You definitely haven't heard anything like this before.

Besides Locks, the Chicago-based group features Wayne Montana (bass, guitar, keyboards), who played with Locks in the equally-as-bizarre Trenchmouth, and Dan Fliegel (percussion, guitar, keyboards), a onetime Tortoise collaborator. The trio released a pair of EPs on Thrill Jockey Records in 1999 before moving to DeSoto Records to put out their 2000 self-titled debut LP, which includes "Billions of People."