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Launchpad [Issue #24]
Mike Dillonís Go-go Jungle:
By Mandana Beigi
Battery Milk (CD Hyena)

Mike Dillon’s personal history is just as interesting as his musical background. Born and raised in Houston, Dillon was a member of the essential Texas bands: Billy Goat, and Hairy Apes BMX - though, his musical journey continued on with experimental groups such as The Malachy Papers, Critters Buggin, and Garage A Trois. Dillon, a percussionist by trade, re-discovered the vibraphone while overcoming drug addiction. Having no more gear to pawn except his vibes, he entered into his own special ‘rehab’ by learning to play Thelonious Monk’s “Well You Needn’t.”

2006 was a busy year for Dillon, who was recording and touring the world as a percussionist with both Ani DiFranco and Les Claypool’s Frog Brigade. It was also the year in which he put together his current band, Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle. The group’s debut album, Battery Milk, will be released on the Brooklyn-based independent label, HYENA Records in January 2007.

Opening the album with the soul-inspired “Go-Go’s Theme,” the band then moves on to “Broc’s Last Stand” – a soul/jazz inspired tune exuding the old school spirit and Dillon’s acid-tinged vibe work. The eerie sound of Mark Southerland’s saxophone adds something very special to “The Blame Game,” a spoken-word track with a spacey electronica feel to it. The metal and punk irreverence moments are heard on “Stupid Americans,” “Lunatic Express,” and “Bad Man.”

Mike Dillon’s Go-Go Jungle has done exactly what bands need to do on their debut records: just being themselves and not making cookie-cutter music to fill up space on the album! Battery Milk is fun to listen to and the band’s genuine musicianship certainly comes through.

Battery Milk

Mike Dillonís Go-go Jungle Battery Milk

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