For a while now, word has been travelling far and wide of the best darn-diddly Ned Flanders themed metal band this side of Ogdenville. I think the first time I became aware of them was when this O.C. Weekly profile piece started trending about a year ago. As a long time metalhead, and even longer time as a Simpsons-head (that nickname needs work), I could not have been more excited. At the time the band only had some demo tracks available, but those showed how much potential the whole thing had. This past week, Okilly Dokilly released their first full-length album “Howdilly Doodilly”, and it’s clear those demos were barely scratching the surface of possibilities.
The band, (rumored to hail from North Haverbrook, “Where the Monorail is King!”) self-describes themselves as the world’s only Nedal band (Ned+metal). I would almost 100% agree this is true. Their commitment to the tribute is admirable, as the members all go by “Ned” as well. There’s Head Ned on vocals, Stead Ned on guitar, Red Ned handling synths and keyboards, Thread Ned slaps the bass, and Bled Ned pummels away at the drums. (Even their manager gets in on it, going by Reverend Killjoy.)
Per the band themselves, “The lyrics are 75% Ned quotes and 25% other characters/original.” So right off the bat this is sure to be a crowd-pleaser for Simpsons fans everywhere. If you are one of those die-hard Simpsons fans, you should consider getting the CD from their online store because in the liner’s they include exactly what season and episode each set of lyrics are from. With classics like “Ann Landers is a boring old biddy” and “I don’t want any damn vegetables”, you’ll be singing (screaming? growling?) along at the top of your lungs.
The spirit of the whole thing is probably somewhere between Tenacious D and Dethklok. It’s sort of parody and sort of homage, but they create something completely original out of it. Obviously their sound would fall closer to Dethklok, but there’s a playfulness that gives it that “Tribute” sense.
Musically, the band is pretty eclectic but, if I have to generalize, I’d say that overall the sound feels like “Burned Alive By Time“-era Evergreen Terrace mixed with some influence by 70’s Black Sabbath. It’s very early-mid 2000’s metalcore, but the synth and keys add a classic metal vibe to it. As I said though, it’s very eclectic, and you can pick out lots of different influences. For example, “You’re a Jerk” has a punk feel and sounds like it could’ve been a 90’s-era-AFI song, “Press Destruct Button” reminded me of something off of Showbread’s “No Sir, Nihilism Is Not Practical“, and the song “Panic Room” starts with a ZZ Top-esque riff, but then when the “We’ll be safe inside our fortress when they come” verse kicks in the song hilariously changes to a Country Western style, borrowing from “She’ll be comin’ ’round the mountain when she comes.” (Sadly there are no noticeable Andy Williams influences on the record.)
The first single off of the album is “White Wine Spritzer”, which they also shot a music video for that you can see right here!
“Howdilly Doodilly” is everything you’d expect a Simpsons themed metal album to be, and more. I haven’t stopped listening to it all week long. It’s heavy, fun, and delvers plenty of catchy tunes that I guarantee you’ll find yourself singing randomly throughout your day, which is pretty much what we already do with Simpsons quotes anyway, only now they’ll have melodies to go along with them!
The band has made the album available on Spotify, but I would strongly encourage you to buy it directly from them through their Bandcamp or their online store, the “Online Leftorium Superstore“. They’re completely independent and it’s really important to support independent music so that the artists you love (be they parody or otherwise) can keep serving up great jams. Also, this would make make a great holiday gift for that Simpsons lover/metalhead in your life. Just sayin…
They’ve also announced that they’ll be supporting Mac Sabbath and Metalachi on the “Mockstrosity 2017 Tour“, so make sure you head out and catch them if they roll through your town! I know I’m going to!