If you’re looking for Tool, you won’t find it here.
As with “Mer de Noms” and “Thirteenth Step,” released in 2000 and 2003, “Eat the Elephant” is A Perfect Circle. This is Billy Howerdel’s band and the former guitar tech for Maynard James Keenan (Tool, Puscifer) plays the majority of the instruments. The music isn’t going to have that kick-you-in-the-balls edge when released April 20 via BMG Music.
The 12 songs were co-produced and mixed by Dave Sardy (Autolux, Slayer, Oasis) over the latter part of 2017. The first half of “Eat the Elephant” brings the most attitude, with pounding drums on featured tracks “Disillusioned,” “TalkTalk” and “The Doomed.”
But in a departure from the first two albums, Howerdel’s melodic piano playing takes center stage on many tracks, such the title track and the instrumental, “DBL.” On others, the effect highlights Keenan’s vocals. Howerdel said the music was influenced by a more Depeche Mode, electronic and “dance-y” sound.
While the band joked with its press release that Howerdel had been “cryogenically frozen as part of an experimental partnership between the Rock n’ Roll Hall of Fame and Dairy Queen,” Howerdel had actually been growing as a man and a musician.
In an interview last April, Howerdel explained he wouldn’t create art for art’s sake.
“You can’t say, ‘hurry up, create’,” Howerdel said. “It’s like performing in the bedroom. For the most part intimacy and true emotion come from a natural place and you can’t force it. It has to come from chemistry and that’s what we’re trying to do.”
Keenan’s lyrics range from introspective to tongue-in-cheek, such as the closing track, “Get the Lead Out,” with its lines “We got places to be … suck it up, buttercup” and “no time to coddle you.” The track has political undertones outlined in the album title and recalls work Keenan has done with Puscifer.
Fans will find metaphor and meaning in tracks such as “Feathers” and “By and Down the River,” both of which were crowd-tested and fan-approved during A Perfect Circle’s North American tour early in 2017. The band played Atlanta May 2, 2017.
Tour dates are listed on the band's Facebook Page. The tour begins Saturday in Arizona. No Atlanta dates are scheduled.
April 17 Santa Barbara, CA Arlington Theatre
April 18 San Jose, CA San Jose State University Events Center
April 20 Las Vegas, NV Las Rageous Rock Festival
April 22 Indio, CA Coachella
May 12 Somserset, WI Northern Invasion
May 15 Omaha, NE Baxter Arena
May 16 Columbia, MO Mizzou Arena
May 18 Columbus, OH Rock on the Range
May 22 Birmingham, AL Legacy Arena at the BJCC
May 23 Southaven, MS Landers Center
May 25 Pryor, OK Rocklahoma
May 26 Dallas, TX BFD 2018 at Starplex Pavilion
The band heads overseas in June.
To pre-order "Eat the Elephant" visit the band's website.