Review: The Tony Danza Tap Dance Extravaganza – Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events

Artist: The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza
Album: Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events
Genre: Technical Math-grind
Label: Black Market Activities

The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza pride themselves on their uncanny sense of humor and their unwavering ability to push barriers with their unpredictable, math-grind aural assault. Their chaotic combination of mind-numbing arrangements and abrasive heaviness hit the listener like a freight train and surely isn’t for the faint of heart. After their well received sophomore album, Danza II: Electric Boogaloo released in 2007 both guitarist and bass players left the band, leaving fans in trepidation and concern for their existence. Rest assured, all apprehension flew out the window when multi-instrumentalist Josh Travis covered both bass and guitar roles for their long awaited third album, Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events, on Black Market Activities.

Their newest creation is essentially a continuation of its predecessors but also displays notable progression amongst their pattented extremity route. While their guitar work still incorporates strange riffs and boundless technicality that Danza are known for, guitarist Josh Travis now delivers a heightened focus and counterbalance of melody. He also executes blistering-paced speed on an impressive 8-string guitar that’s tuned to low E to provide some of the lowest chugs known to the genre. His complex guitar lines are not only commendable but admirable and leave your jaw on the ground. The artistic and skillful force this album embodies proves this is one of their most polished albums to date. “Vicki Mayhem,” kicks things off with radio static as the music quickly ascends to a heavy wrecking machine of throat curdling growls and atmospheric layers. Danza recapitulates their trademark of anomalous song titles, most notably on “Yippee-Kay-Yay Mother!@#$%.” Both “Yippie-Kay-Yay,” and “Sammy Jankis,” serve as an epitome of their musical capabilities and enhanced songwriting abilities and are easily two of the highlight tracks. Much like their earlier work Danza incorporate sounds that most would not expect to be fused together, but they have honed their craft of dissonant technical prowess, groove and ambience to almost perfection.

Vocalist Jessie Freeland’s throaty screams and deep gutturals are up to his frenzied standards. His continued ability to stand out above the barrage of aggression is nothing short of impressive. The conceptional lyricism on Danza III is right up to par with the music, it illustrates a chronicle of unfortunate events that ultimately lead to the destruction of the world on “12-21-12.” This album hits on topics that dig deep, whether personally, politically, or globally. Their newly matured lyrics are evident that they are more prolific and anthematic than ever. On “The Union,” Freeland delves in the darker side of the heart’s anguish when he screams, “Choke on the mess you made, and don’t think about what could have been. Just feel this knife in your back when this record spins.” After a breakdown sure to pummel you into oblivion and a few more momentous moments, the album reaches its conclusion with a compelling two-part finale on, “12-21-12.” The first part flows in the same vein of instrumental maelstrom, while after a lengthy break of silence, the final moments of the album are brought to a sorrow-filled closing as Freeland anguishingly repeats,”..the truth is, we are all lost..”

The Tony Danza Tapdance Extravaganza’s versatile ambush of hammering heaviness and controlled chaos produce an engaging auditory experience, but is a bit of an acquired taste. Their menacing blend of music is loud, abrasive and may be a lot to swallow in one sitting but each tangled note leaves the listener guessing what they’ll do next. Some of the songs are hard to distinguish between because they meld so closely together but the downfalls on this album are relatively easy to overlook. With better song structures, improved musicianship and an amplified focus on melodic sensibilities, Danza III: The Series of Unfortunate Events has risen to a new stratum for their most developed album to date.

Score: 9/10
Review written by: Nerissa Judd

James Shotwell

James Shotwell is the founder of Under The Gun Review. He loves writing about music and movies almost as much as he loves his two fat cats. He's also the co-founder of Antique Records and the Marketing Coordinator for Haulix. You should probably follow him on Twitter.

Latest posts by James Shotwell (see all)

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.
  • Hey can I copy and paste this post on my web site? What references must I give? You might give this info for other people too.