Timmy’s Organism – Raw Sewage Roq

Timmy Vulgar’s been ripping through the garage-punk realm with unparalleled consistency since 2004. His brand of weirdo space-punk has been easily identifiable in every project: Clone Defects, then Human Eye and Timmy’s Organism. His touch is a shining example of artistic idiosyncrasy in a genre that’s just as prone to carbon copying as the major label crud it purports to be an alternative to. Everything he does sounds true to self, and the unexpected balance of melody and brut freakishness (heavier on the latter) never fails to be simultaneously strange, intriguing, gross, enjoyable and aggressive.

A feeling of a chaotic end-of-the-world escape to outer space pulses through virtually all of his creations. His work in totality – the crude and creepy lyrics, his helium-tinged growl, the polluted quality of guitar and the irrational imagery of some of the accompanying videos – is the stuff of a punk-rock sci-fi comic book that’s yet to be written.

But it could be written, and Raw Sewage Roq would make an ideal debut. It’s the second LP filed under Timmy’s Organism in his catalog, but since Vulgar’s solo work was the basis of the first release, this full-band offering – which is, as expected, fuller in sound as a result – is an ideal beginning.

(Note: It’s not entirely silly and irrelevant to speculate about a plot shaped by Vulgar’s catalog. He was awarded a fellowship [read: $25,000 in funding] from Detroit’s Kresge Arts in 2010, and while the school’s website calls him a composer/musician, In the Red’s most recent press release for Vulgar adds his “creative vision and commitment to excellence within a wide range of artistic disciplines” was a deciding factor. So there.)

Upbeat album launcher “Cats on the Moon” spastically time travels from the era of the Vikings to prehistoric times, jumps to Clint Eastwood’s spaghetti western heyday and Saturday Night Fever and “1980s children/ Glued to the television” then back to the ‘70s porn, until finally reaching a future where cats prance on the moon and Elvis is alive and well, “eating a salad/ Singing a ballad.” At first, it appears to be an afflicted, sort of mental version of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire.” But additional oddities are named and Vulgar shouts, “Welcome, everybody, to the U.S.A.!” And there’s the introduction to the series. (Obviously.)

The rest of this Roq is almost just as readily translated. “Unhook My Leash,” a darker tune that sears like the cracking of a fiery whip, finds Vulgar captured and treated “like a dog” in this depraved new world. He escapes quickly in the next chapter (literally the following song) and defiantly marches to “Take the Castle.” Later, he endures “Low Cut Surgery.” He kind of enjoys it.

Vulgar’s persona recalls the frequently fictionalized notion of superhuman effects from contamination by hazardous chemicals. In the title track, it’s noted that he and his comrades “were born in the sewer.” In the hypothetical Raw Sewage Roq comic book – or graphic novel, if you prefer – his secret abilities would be the centerpiece of his character’s origin.

There’s no proof that the real-life Timmy Vulgar has superpowers of any kind, of course. But there isn’t any evidence to the contrary, either.

Timmy’s Organism
Raw Sewage Roq
[In the Red]