Fan cover versions of Residents material “mutated and collaged” by the group.
The Residents announced the concept of I Am A Resident! in 2013, and when they asked for submissions, they received 193 pieces of music. The idea is that as no one knows who The Residents are anyway, by reworking their music, you’re as much a Resident as anyone else. The first CD is themed as an hour-long radio show on ‘WREZ’, introduced by a cheesy host. It features some inventive, if nightmarish, mashup medleys, like Hello Duck Stab, a 10-minute fairground swirl based on covers of the Duck Stab EP. The second CD features 24 shorter tracks, which remind us that, by comparison, The Residents’ later material is particularly well recorded, and for all their freakiness, they’ve produced some fairly simple songs. That said, whatever the fans throw at the group, they can throw back something bigger, as on a version of Constantinople that’s buzzing with punishingly abrasive electronics. The Residents’ approach is arch and mannered, and some of the vocal performances here are self-consciously wacko to draining effect, so a straightforward reading of Loss: The Weatherman stands out. A brilliant concept, then, but one that’s surely for fans only.