C.O.G., Antarctica Vs. The World, and Villa Diodati

November 11th, 2000

A day that will live in infamy!!!

Following up on the rumors surging through the New Orleans underworld I arrived at the Howlin' Wolf ready for anything. Or so I thought.....

Filled with a deliciously varied crowd, the Wolf was already athrob with expectation (and the first set still almost 2 hours away). I grabbed a tequila and surveyed the room.

What would bring such an assortment of ages and styles together like this? I saw knots of punks resplendant in their multicolored hair, painted leather jackets, and spikes rubbing shoulders with older, seemingly middle-american types. Jocks, goths, geeks, and disturbingly normal people waited with unconcealed anticipation

The handbill for the show had listed three bands: Villa Diodati, Antarctica Vs. The World, and Consortium Of Genius. It also alluded to chainsaws, mad scientists, and global domination. This was no empty threat, I was not to be disappointed.

First to take the stage was Villa Diodati (named for Lord Byron's mansion where Mary Shelley wrote Frankenstein). Risen from the ashes of the local band Igor Kitty, they warmed up the crowd with a blend of

minor-key, melodic goth combined with adroitly played (and screaming) guitar. The temperature began to rise..

Then the MAYHEM began! With screams and whoops Antarctica Vs. The World invaded the stage area dressed as mental patients and brimming with attitude. Cos Solo, the vocalist, wearing a black straight jacket, was steered towards the mic by his handlers. What followed was a blast of pure, 80's style horror punk in the finest tradition of The Misfits.

These guys really grabbed me! No pop-punk/surf-punk stylings here. Just raw, fun, unabashed hardcore! Singing about zombie girlfriends, republican landlords, and Ash form the Evil Dead movies, they projected a frantic energy that rapidly infected the crowd. It is easy to see why these guys were tapped to open for FEAR a few short weeks ago!

After an hour or so of hard chopping mania their set ended with Cos chasing Dreux Ghoul (bass) off the stage with a chainsaw. Little did the assembled audience know that they were to return later that night for a grudge match...

A lull ensued. Smoke began to issue from the stage. Mad cackling and bizarre electronic noises were heard to emanate from the stage and backstage areas. The COG were approaching readiness for their latest bid to take over the world!

As the lights came up to chants of, "COG! COG! COG!" the stage was revealed. A mad scientist's lab complete with time machine, robot drummer, and more gizmos than a Sharper Image Xmas sale. To prepare the crowd for the onslaught a "Federal Advisory," newsreel (available on their website in QuickTime format) was shown, complete with footage of their recent jailbreak and previous (humorously ineffective) attempts to dominate the planet.

Then came the band. Dr. Milo T. Pinkerton III on vocals, sporting long, black heavy metal hair and a lab coat. Dr. 'A' Pentatonic on guitar, wearing Brooklyn mobster chic (and a lab coat). Filbert Snodgrass (Mad Scientist in training) on bass, wearing geek glasses and , you guessed it, a lab coat. And last, but FAR from least, Drumbot!

Combining comedy, multimedia, and bitingly satirical music, the COG mesmerized the attendant lifeforms. Lampooning every genre from hip-hop to goth the COG rained a veritable hailstorm of laughs delivered with an outstanding level of musical proficiency. From the metallic pounding of Death To The Angel Of Death to the KMFDM-like techno and driving guitar of I Scream, their ode to frozen desserts, they not only promised entertainment, but wholeheartedly delivered! They even presented a sensitive rock ballad, All I Want To Do Is You.....

No scheme for wresting control of the world from it's current leaders would be complete without propaganda, and COG had that aplenty! From the ongoing, computer controlled video offerings running in constant counterpoint to the music to the release of viral information in the form of their debut CD Free Brains and Dead Bodies these maniacs did not miss a beat.

A collision between Weird Al Yankovich and Spinal Tap, carried on a wave of musical and satirical proficiency COG proved to be a band I will be catching repeatedly in the future! If you follow Dr. Demento you may have already heard them....

After a stellar performance (including an onstage lobotomy of one of the crowd members!) chaos took control once more as Cos Solo from Antarctica Vs. The World escaped his keepers and attacked the mad geniuses with a chainsaw in an attempt to remove them as competition for world domination! Fortunately the orderlies were able to restrain him before any serious injuries were sustained. As he was dragged from the stage he was heard to shout threats of a showdown to come next weekend when the two groups play together again at the local Exoticon event. Truly a clash of the titans.

Maybe it was simply my proximity to the deadly mind control lasers that makes me say this, but Bow 2 The COG!!