Heavy mettle

Bless 'em, Dooms U.K. make art for Art Rock's sake

It would be too easy to dismiss Dooms U.K. as an art-rock parody; with songs like "Heather Has Two Mommies," "Licking 4 Jesus," and "Cum Play with My Kitty," it's hard not to. But to do so would imply they are in it for the cheap laughs, that they think themselves above the music they play. Theirs is not a comedy routine with guitars. They perform Night Ranger's "Sister Christian" or Journey's "Open Arms" with a straight face because to do so is almost revolutionary. Anyone can screw up those songs, play them loud, turn such refuse into laffer travesties. But to play it straight, to be sincere about rescuing rubbish, is to defy convention; it's to risk being laughed at when all you want is to be smiled with.

"That is very important to us--the one thing we don't want to be is a novelty," Freeman says. "A lot of people think you can't have music that's funny without it being a joke, and that's totally not true. Frank Zappa is a classic example. He's right up there with 'musically valid rock,' but some of it's so hilarious you laugh all the way through it. I don't think music has to be serious to be valid. I mean, there are wacky parts of 'Japanimation Nation,' but it's not even like a parody.

"Just because you do something in a style that most people think is nostalgic and bygone doesn't mean it's not relevant. Just because we don't live in 1972 doesn't mean we can't play like we're in Genesis in 1972."

To which Sparks adds, very simply: "It's pretty much from the heart.

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