On the one hand, Drums and Tuba is just your average Austin power trio, logging 200 or so dates a year on the road. Typically, there's guitar, there's drums and . . . um, here's where the analogy starts to fall apart. Instead of a bass, there's a tuba, and instead of a singer, there's nothing. Yet it's still rock 'n' roll.
The fact that Drums and Tuba can rock is underscored on "Brain Liaters," the first track of their latest CD, Mostly Ape, when the guitar riff from Led Zeppelin's "Kashmir" booms along for a few bars. As was the case with Zep, there's a mighty bottom and a deep furrow of a groove. Only a tuba provides it.
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Yes, the tuba, best known for its beery Oktoberfest oompah charm and foghorn tone, colors the bass end of the spectrum for this band. And yes, one can also tag Drums and Tuba's music as funk, New Wave, no wave, jazz, electronica and punk. You could even call them a jam band. But in every case you would be both right and wrong, for Drums and Tuba is like a Zen koan: They are all of the above and none of it all at the same time. It's music you can trip to but don't need hallucinogens to get there.