Sex, Death, and Videogames

Melodious Punk

Kevin Fredericks is one of the most eccentric musicians in Reno. If there’s a box, the dude is way the heck out of it. Even if there’s no box, he’s still pretty far out. With bassist Erik Lawson, he’s in the idiosyncratic electronica duo Etherkats. But Fredericks’ solo project, Melodious Punk, is an outlet for exploring aspects of his musical personality even farther afield.

It’s drum machine exotica, colored with Brian Eno-inspired soundscapes, Spanish-flavored guitars, falsetto crooning, video game sounds and cheesy synthesizers. The overall effect is oddly trance-inducing and relaxing, like some surreal New Age music.

In Etherkats, Fredericks’ kooky exoticism is grounded by Lawson’s rock-based bass lines, and that sort of contrast is lacking here, and much of the music gets lost in the ether. It’s an intriguing listen, but I’ll have to call it an interesting near-miss.